Little Horses

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“Little Horses”  |  Anthony Satori

If you reach high enough, and search deep enough, and breathe calmly within the stillness of the moment, you will eventually discover that we are all connected by One infinite, beautiful, compassionate Consciousness.  And then, like a cool mist exposed to warm sunlight, all superficial differences will melt away.

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Who’s That Little Mouse?

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“Who’s That Little Mouse?”  |  Anthony Satori

(Me up at does)

— a poem by E. E. Cummings

“Me up at does

out of the floor

quietly Stare

a poisoned mouse

still who alive

is asking What

have i done that

You wouldn’t have”

Although quite poignant, I’ve always appreciated this poem by E. E. Cummings.  I think it is a fine example of his remarkable economy of language, his touching sense of empathy, and his unmistakable signature style: a seemingly mixed-up, punctuation-free stagger of words which, upon closer inspection, actually turns out to be a carefully constructed poetic flow of thoughts and ideas.  Like a lot of great art, Cummings’ poetry isn’t spoon-fed to the viewer.  It requires effort and attention.  But, in the end, it is always worth the journey.

Quite fortunately, the little mouse in the image above was destined for a more happy fate than the mouse in Cummings’ verse.  A couple of nights ago, while we languished in a Tryptophan-induced haze, this little fellow took us completely by surprise by scampering across the interior of a ceiling light fixture.  Following his spry shadow, I slid the lamp shade aside and revealed a tiny gray mouse huddled in a corner.  As soon as we saw his earnest little face, we knew that we had to devise a plan of rescue.  We named him “Buford.”  He graciously posed for a portrait.  Then, after some careful thought and planning, we proceeded to use a combination of kitchen implements, a folding chair, and some gentle coaxing to safely retrieve him from the ceiling fixture.  For his bravery, he was treated to some Thanksgiving leftovers.  What a feast!  Then, with a full belly and an unbelievable story to tell, we released him into the night.  Godspeed, Buford.  And Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Polo: The Sport of Kings

“Polo: The Sport of Kings”  |  Anthony Satori

Polo is an impressive spectacle of horsemanship and athleticism that dates back thousands of years.  There are actual cave paintings in China depicting polo matches being played over two millennia ago, and the game has remained remarkably consistent throughout the centuries.  Moving from Asia to Europe and eventually to the New World, polo has often been called the “Sport of Kings,” primarily because of the high cost of maintaining and training large teams of horses, but also for its pomp, ceremony and civility of play.  While still an elaborate production, polo has become far more accessible in the modern era, and now, for little more than the price of a ticket to a baseball or basketball game, anyone who wishes to attend can engage in the fun.  And, after all these centuries, it is still a great experience to enjoy a beautiful day in good company, watching the spectacle play out — the athletes, the “ponies,” the dirt flying — amidst the sunshine, the fresh air, and the smell of freshly-cut grass. 

The only additional element that I might  consider adding would be to have the players do more yelling.  I know, it may sound strange at first, but currently the play is markedly quiet, and I suspect some well-timed battle cries would add an exciting dimension to the event.  Imagine a pack of polo players charging down the field on their horses, mallets in the air, hollering at the top of their lungs!  Can’t you almost hear them?  Aaaaaaugh!  Indeed, I think the occasional hearty group yell would bring an enhanced air of simulated battle to the milieu, and even provide spectators with an opportunity to verbally participate by chiming in.   Of course, if it hasn’t become part of the sport by now, it’s unlikely that they will start doing this any time soon, (certainly not at my suggestion.)  But I figured I’d put the idea on the table.  In the meantime, let’s get out there and stomp some divots, and get ready for the next chukker!

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Two Cheetahs

"Two Cheetahs"  |  Anthony Satori

“Two Cheetahs”  |  Animal Spirits  (pg. 36)  |  Anthony Satori

It was mid-afternoon, and I had been hiking for most of the day.  I came around a hill and spotted two big cats at rest under the shade of a tree, most likely trying to escape from the heat of the afternoon sun.  They were near enough for me to identify as cheetahs, but they were still quite some distance from where I stood.  I had to get closer.  I began to hike around some trees and rocks, slowly making my way toward another section of the hilly terrain.  I trudged across a dry riverbed and up over a mound of dirt on the other bank.  As the two big cats came back into my view, I realized that I was now at a perfect distance to capture the image that I wanted.  I also realized, however, that there were no longer any topographical  barriers between myself and these incredible animals.  I had hiked rather deep into their territory, and I now found myself standing a mere stone’s throw away from hundreds of pounds of teeth and claws and killer instinct.  Just as this thought crossed my mind, one of the cheetah’s ears perked up.  He turned his head and looked directly into my eyes.  It was thrilling.  Adrenaline shot through my body, but for some reason, I remained calm and still.  It is an intense moment for a nature photographer to realize that you have just been noticed by the fastest land predator on the planet, and that you have no place to go, no truck to jump into, no barrier to hide behind.  If this cat had decided that I was dinner, I was easily within no more than four seconds reach.  My heart pumped, my breath deepened.  It was exhilarating to have such a direct moment of connection with such a majestic animal.  I calmly raised my camera and took a photograph, and then another, both of which are in my book, Animal Spirits.  I lowered my camera and took a quiet moment to feel my awe toward these amazing creatures.  I then slowly turned and began to hike my way back into the hills, leaving the cheetahs to enjoy the leisure of their afternoon under the shade of a tree.

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