Friday, October 24, 2008
When a calf is born it knows it has to stand up and find some sort of projecting thingy that should be in some sort of warm place. Once there, it has to figure out how to get it's mouth and tongue to work. All the while it is learning to spin on these wobbly stick things as the mother whirls around wanting to lick her baby. She is mooing. There are usually a goodly number of other warm, breathing, fuzzy things around and occasionally a really annoying 2 legged thing that instinct says is all wrong. However, the calf also seems to know that this two-legged thing is a good and often very helpful in getting to that magic warm, milky spot. Sometimes that strange human thing is a pretty nice substitute.
It's not easy.
When people meet, eyes scan for similarities and differences; ears listen for familiar words while the brain is either speaking or preparing to speak; smells are unconsciously taken in and analyzed but mostly our intuition is running wild.
It is much easier over the Internet because our words can be carefully edited, tone is missing and all the visual, auditory and olfactory details are absent. The question is- are we really meeting this new person or are we merely creating a character in our imagination?
When I meet a new calf I often wonder if I am not merely creating a character onto whom I can write a story. What would this calf be if it were born alone on the range? Would it have a cow name? Does that individual exist as an individual if I do not name it?
I always name all my animals. Their names come into my head and somehow they fit. I have named a few that did not fit and those often do not seem to belong in what I call Dr. Dolittle land. But those who do like their names, who seem to like having a separate essence from the herd, change and become more than cow/bovine/animal. They become themselves.
There have been babies born here with whom I felt nothing. Others that have felt like old friends. Many that have grown on me and a few that I can't imagine life without.
There have been people I met once and wanted to have as a friend forever. Others have felt like a meal to be enjoyed and then forgotten. Many to whom I have grown accustomed and a few that make my life beautiful. I still don't understand it and maybe never will, but it is very cool.