Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Self-Guided Spirit Animal Quest

Illustration by Emma Rust

Recommended: Have a friend read this out loud while you meditate.

Close your eyes. Breathe. Try to breathe slowly –– fill you lungs with light, cool air and then let it go. But don’t worry too much about the rhythm or speed. Just breathe as you have always done. Relax. Let the tension flow out of you –– let it fall into the ground –– and keep breathing. Always come back to that breath, like an old friend. That familiar heartbeat, that quiet rise and fall like waves on a beach.

Now imagine your favorite place. It could be a childhood room, or a sunny beach or a cedar forest just as it begins to rain. Remember how the place feels, how it smells. Remember the taste of spring in the air or the feel of shag carpet under your feet. Be there, in that moment – feeling and touching the present – a living memory. Now wait, and continue breathing. Don’t seek out another but wait as patiently as stone. It will come when it is ready – when you are ready.

Hear the rustle as it comes across the prairie or through the forest. What is it? Is it a great dragon or a tiny mouse? Is it a dead relative –– or a living one? Is it a mist? Is it yourself? Is it a bear? Don’t make any sudden movements, but gently, slowly move towards it. Unless it is a bear. Does it see you? How does it react? If it’s a bear, it will react with aggression, so don’t let it notice you. Just get out of there as soon as you can.

Watch it as it moves – does it say anything? But seriously, I’m not kidding. Bears are dangerous. Probably the most dangerous thing in nature. Worse even than sharks. And you can’t scare them off like you can with cougars. Try to look bigger than a bear and he will fucking WASTE you. What does it say to you? Nothing, because it is a fucking bear. Oh shit, has it seen you? Get out of there, man! I’m not joking! Have you seen inception? You can die in there –– there is no “going deeper” bullshit here. Did you ever see Leo take on the power of nature? NO! You are about to get eaten by a BEAR! A HUGE, ANGRY BEAR!  Is that how you want to die? Eaten by a spirit animal bear? NO! GET OUT NOW!! Oh, no! Its coming after you! RUN!!!! OH NO! IT’S FASTER THAN YOU! YOU CAN’T OUTRUN IT! ITS ALMOST ON TOP OF YOU! AAAAAAAAAITSABEARAAAAAAAAA! SHIT! NO! DON’T EAT ME! I’M TOO YOUNG TO BE EATEN! NOOOOOoooOOOOoooooOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGG!

And breathe out. Let the real world slowly flow back into you. You are back at Whitman. You are back in yourself. Remember the things yet to do, the thousand forgotten and unforgotten things that make up your life. You are home now. Take a moment to center yourself in this place. In this now. But remember what you have learned in that other place. That place of silence within you, that serenity you can carry with you always.


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