Hunting (Lopez)

To hunt means to have the land around you like clothing.
To engage in a wordless dialogue with it, one so absorbing that you cease to talk with your human companions. It means to release yourself from rational images of what something “means” and to be concerned only that it “is.” And then to recognize that things exist only insofar as they can be related to other things. These relationships — fresh drops of moisture on top of rocks at a river crossing and a raven’s distant voice — become patterns. The patterns are always in motion. Suddenly the pattern — which includes physical hunger, a memory of your family, and memories of the valley you are walking through, these particular plants and smells — takes in the caribou. There is a caribou standing in front of you. The release of the arrow or bullet is like a word spoken out loud. It occurs at the periphery of your concentration.

Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams

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