Some Day Mars! or Bee Thankful
by Mark Kerstetter
I've confronted the challenge every day for weeks now, held my breath and counted to ten—wait a minute, maybe that was supposed to be “take a deep breath.” But if Houdini could hold his breath for three minutes I don't see how— Anyway, I've pedaled hard my bike, maintained reasonable hours and fortified with vitamins. You don't think that bear behind bars there did anything comparable, do you? I'm well aware of my privilege. That's not the issue. Or maybe it is, the issue I confront as a tabula rasa in the form of a blackened page. Language can't be made to function as an eraser. What you seem to see as a man backpedaling out of a cultural inheritance is just one more idler doggie-paddling in the soup du jour. It's in bad taste to be unthankful, and these days one is expected to commit some act of veiled contrition toward our native brothers and sisters who blazed the trail for us. Buy someone a turkey, set another one free. Franklin thought it should be the National Bird. I digress. For weeks now. But is there any other way to address the wild, today, here? What happens when our beaks and nails are clipped and we're crammed in grids, fed a steady line of bull? Where is our wild then? except in the vast interior stretches of the human heart? the stretches, the labyrinths, hidden passageways, coves, treacherous outcroppings, dizzy ledges and arid wastes. It's all there and only there, perhaps, that the wild will be found today, not on any point locatable with a GPS device. Still, I take some comfort in the fact that beyond the best efforts of industry, a boiler will still sometimes explode. It gives us something to work for, and for that I'm thankful. That and the bees haven't all died yet.