Thursday, August 18, 2005

ghost bear

he is an apparition that exists only in the magic hour. impossible to capture in photos fully. leaving the shutter open i can record his movement-look closely at the photo below and you will see his muzzle smelling the tree trunk. and the darker part suggests a kneeling figure. the shaman wannabe in me likes that happy accident of photography. i think he is a young bear because of his astonished open gaze and shiny black coat of new looking fur. his muzzle is without scar. he brings myth and mystery to my evenings making me alive and alert because i respect his wildness.

i am low by the creek and under heavy canopy it is night for me early on. i know he comes from across the creek and so i look and wait, more hopeful for him than any lover i can recall or imagine. (but this may be a condition of age rather than evolution or wisdom.) every dark place pulls my eye. the forest is so alive with movement it is hard not to be fooled over and over again. the creek flows and splashes up little diversions. the leaves are starting to fall and hummingbirds reach for the last of the nectar while red can still, if faintly, be registered by those tiny eyes. black hornets with an impressive nest at the apex of the roof inspect me and move on. the bear, like many things, doesn't come at the time of my choosing and i give up the watch and prepare dinner..........oh yes! wild alaskan salmon on my george forman grill. i did not plan it but in retrospect my unconscious mind was clearly in the driver's seat.

the chicks are inside with me and love kitchen time as they are sure to receive a taste of everything i am having. suddenly the chicks adopt a familiar weird, low and frozen stance while emitting a worry trill. the bear is here. how can he be so quiet? he is more cautious than i, every step tentative. the bear doesnt see me but the twitching snout tells me he smells me or the salmon. he is probably smelling a billion other scents i cannot detect. he is disappointed the bird feeder has been taken in, having been so lucky recently to have caught me off guard staying too late at the studio in town. he checks every place where bird seed has ever been. i am surprised he doesn't come up on the deck. He has before and though i usually let it go so i can watch him, when he touches the dish i am compelled to step out and protect my very very fragile satellite reception; tv becoming as mythological as the bear lately.

he moves on and upward to the west and the night unfolds merrily; heavy in riches and good fortune.