O Alex, my Alex! Your time of captaincy grows near, but to rise up, to weather every rack, to earn your exultations, you must, with your own face, face the challenges that befall you. Meet them warmly and do not falter. Rise, stand, and be not afear’d, lest your next four score be scarred with the nothing, or the very little, that befalls a life spent in too-timid worrying, “I can’t do that.”
Do that. Use each anxiety as a goad. Know that you are no island unto yourself, but when you feel most alone, remember that on your apparent isle all the unknown noises, the twangling instruments and the voices you hear, all of them are but sweet, delightful sounds. Bend them to your awe, these unknowns, these blockades you think into existence, and break them all to pieces. You know that when you are pushed, you tend not to fall, but to succeed. Now learn to push yourself, and not through easy-swinging doors, but through any impasse, every juggernaut, blocking your way. Remember Hannibal in the alps, blocked by boulders, passage impossible for the rockfall. Bah! He lit a bonfire around each boulder then had his men, well tanked, piss on the natural cracks in the boulders and by that device the great rocks split to pieces. Apocryphal, sure, but inspiring. And no matter how he managed, he managed to cross the Alps with 37 battle elephants and the rest of his troops and train. That’s a feat on foot even if every boulder in the embellished history was a pebble no larger than a jagged kidney stone.
If there’s a clawing turtle in the yard, pick it up like you used to reach for snakes. Respect, do not fear, the capacity of each animal. Every time you’re afraid, meet the fear with the curious courage you showed when you first held a snake.
Here’s Alex with a small Northern Ring-neck snake we caught in the yard. We didn’t microwave this snake, which you’ll be glad to know.
And here she is again, nearly sub aqua, facing her fear of Jaws.
Alex’s main page has only just begun, yet she’s the kid around me much of the time for homeschool, so this page will expand and her sub-pages will accumulate. For now, check out:
Sugar & Spice – The Sugar Arts: Sweet, Sticky, Creative – And Surprisingly Permanent
Fat Daddy’s – The Mythic Bakery
Chicken Chores – Raising Children by Raising Animals
[more to follow….blather, blather…]
1/10/19…I’m sitting here munching on some venison jerky from the deer pictured above. Thank you, Alex. As I was wondering what to put up on the ‘Alexandria’ page, my dad stopped by with two copies of Fishing & Hunting Journal, December 2018, Volume 28, Number 7. “Hey Alex, Butch made you famous!” Alex’s guide, Butch Crist, had sent a photo of her success to the Journal and she wound up as one of the several hunters featured. Exciting stuff for a kid.
This is as good a place as any to discuss hunting. Blather on….
Yeah, there was some Walt & William, Abe & Mr. Donne, half-remembered, infecting my typing fingers at the start of this page. And the bit about Hannibal – was that Livy, or Pliny, or unadulterated horse piss (the liquid corollary to bull shit) flowing from some artesian well of misremembering? I need to go back and re-read the history of Hanibal’s invasion. Is this the value of education, being able to call upon the past to make a present point?
Lead Photo Credit: Not sure, but not me. Alex shared that as the one she wanted for her main photo and now that I’m going back through and trying to lodge all the credits in the various pages, I realize I need to attribute that to someone specific. For now, we’ll credit it to her anonymous friend with a camera: Cameranon.