Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Day 327 - Domestication
It's 34F, and dark, and I just got back from my micro-short, rest-mile, get-back-inside-before-my-nards-fall-off run.
I need to adhere to my ice bath for my feet ritual, but tonight, it seems redundant.
I couldn't believe how cold it felt, and how quickly I felt cold. My toes were numb even before the short run was over.
As soon as I got inside, I pulled my shoes off. Interestingly, a leaf stuck to my thumb. Sure, it was a little damp, but it was... sticky, too... in a weird way. I pulled off my tights before I scraped it off my thumb using the edge of the waste basket. As I pulled my hand back, I caught the faintest... odor.
I direct sniff confirmed it... that leaf was covered in poo. Stinky, sticky, poo.
There isn't enough hot water and anti-bacterial soap in this hemisphere to make me believe that my thumb is clean.
What a wuss I've become. We all have.
I came home to a warm house. Didn't have to build a fire, let alone chop wood. In fact, when I started this post, complaining about how cold I was, I was sitting in shorts, barefoot. And I'm not cold anymore.
I washed my poo-bespekled thumb with clean, hot water, at the ready, piped to any of 4 sinks, or 3 bathtubs, or a sweet-ass two-head shower. No bucket. No well. No fetching. No trudging to the river. And I didn't have to make the soap.
I have food in my house, in a box that keeps it fresh. I didn't even have to kill it. And I don't have to eat it raw either. I have another box that will warm it up, and tenderize it, and not inconsequentially, kill any lingering germs. If I'm in a hurry, I have another box that will heat it up in seconds. Seconds!
I drive a heated car to the heated office where I work sitting down.
We've been domesticated. We've domesticated ourselves. Like declawed cats, 99% of us wouldn't last a week out in the wild. We like to think we could. Some of us go camping, with tents, and portable stoves, and food we brought with us, and cell phones. Today, a pretty cold day, I rode the motorcycle to work... wearing heated gloves.*
I enjoy the comforts of the domesticated life. I can't wait to wriggle into my bed at night. Electricity is way better than candles for practical lighting. And showers... well, if showering were an Olympic event, the IOC would have kindly asked me to retire because my unprecedented string of gold medals was demoralizing the other athletes and ruining the sport.
But it's good to remember that though we may be domesticated, we're still animals. Stay in touch with that inner wild nature. Get outside when it's cold. Don't resist it. Feel it on your skin. Breath it in, letting it chill your nostrils. Look up at the sky and let yourself feel small, tiny, a mere speck on the surface of a rock, only here for the blink of an eye.
Don't waste that blink insulated from the rest of the world. Get out, move around, get some poo on your thumb.
*Heated gloves are actually quite awesome. They have extended my riding season greatly by keeping my fingers in working order while I cruise the streets.
Numbers: 1.4 miles, another rest-mile day, this one ridiculously slow, mostly because it was so dark I couldn't see where I was going in the woods.
Posted by Douglas White at 4:10 PM