Author's Note: Something a little different and more creative than I normally do.
The Vestigial Man
I detect within myself the yearning for things real. Not the illusory perception that comes from staring into an illuminated rectangle all day; but the tactile, the concrete, the solid.
I have become uncomfortably comfortable in a society too accustomed to life in the abstract; moments of fancy, of imaginary heroes in vain battles, catalog solutions to vexing problems lived only in the mind.
Somewhere down in my core, I crave the damp, close feel of the woods and the brilliant starkness of desert and the vast emptiness of night. I find an empty place in my soul and my nostrils for the sound of the arrow striking home and the acrid smell of blood. A long forgotten part of me senses something vital is missing and longs for dirt under my fingernails and drinking from bubbling springs.
Without the sensation of movement that comes with the stroke of the paddle, the gait of a horse or the stride uphill; I suddenly lose my sense of place. Effortlessly gliding and rolling from hither to yon; without the exhaustion I don’t know how far I’ve travelled or where I am.
I fear I’m lost.
My black and white life is lived in the churning of electrons, sustained by eating flaccid, soulless meat; my existence ruled hour by hour by the clock. I’m trodden endlessly amid the wheels turning everywhere. The wheels are so hard at work turning the wild land into timidity, my time into money and my dreams into ashes. I exchange all of my time for the coin of the realm and find that it is never enough. That ancient man killed his food with a stick and tilled the ground with a stone and still had time to develop art and language and leisure is a marvel to me, the modern man.
A modern man who almost forgot who he is, the ancient man.
That any remnant of him remains in me is a mystery. I hear the creaking of a taut bow in my dreams. I have visions of sprouting kernels amid the moist earth. I can smell the scent of drying meat and wood smoke through the vents. I see deer by the road and envision cedar shafts striking flanks. I’m confused; there is no place in my orderly asphalt world for such things. No experience in the digital world the vestigial man in me can relate to.
The yearning for things real remains regardless- the taut drawn bow, the paddle dipped in the water, the sound of deer in the oaks, the taste of venison cooked over open fire- vague recollections from forefather’s lives long ago lived.
The modern man views such things as diversion from real life, to the vestigial man they are real life.