Posts tagged hylozoism
Posts tagged hylozoism
Today I was out on the soccer fields of Bowdoin College. As I was walking up to the pitch, I noticed an older man and his teenage daughter throwing a frisbee toward each other, while their dog performed acrobatics trying to get at the disc.
Initially pleased with this little scene of life, my feelings darkened when the dog caught the frisbee and the man lunged at it to stop it from chewing the frisbee. In the lunge he aimed a hard kick at the dog that didn’t connect, but managed to get the disc from the dog. At first, I wasn’t too sure what I had seen. I was fifty feet away, and focused on dribbling. And so, I continued warming up, chalking it up to nothing, thinking it wasn’t an actual kick I had seen - he had tripped or something.
The fact that it seemed the dog was having a great time chasing the frisbee alleviated my fears. I was running some drills when I saw the dog catch it. This time the man ran over to the dog, and in one motion, grabbed it from the dog’s jaws and threw it very forcefully at the dog’s back. The dog yelped and cowered away. The teenage girl looked at her feet.
Internally, I was struggling. Part of me wanted to go and directly confront the man. I was appalled at his blatant mistreatment, incensed but insecure. Conflicting commands jumbled my thoughts. Confront. Even if it became heated and dangerous. Ignore. It isn’t your business. Call security. Avoid conflict. Scenario after scenario raced through my head in the second following what I had seen.
Then I noticed that I had stopped moving, and even picked up the ball. Standing at staring. This proved to have an effect. The father turned toward me, turned away quickly, and the two continued to throw the frisbee. The dog didn’t come near them. They threw it once, twice, and then he caught it and motioned the girl to follow him. They walked away from the pitch and he turned back to look at me quickly.
I’d like to think that I did something. That by clearly demonstrating to him that I had seen what he had done I had shamed him. Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t. I’m inclined to think I did something, but I’m tortured thinking I didn’t do enough. Maybe he had misinterpreted my pointed stare. I hope not.
And I can’t stop thinking about the girl either. She was no more than sixteen. Probably 14, or 15. I couldn’t stop thinking about the way she looked at her feet when her father did what he did. She was also ashamed of his behavior. This, if nothing else, was a good sign. She would’t do the same, would she? She wasn’t the sort of person to mistreat her pets. Was she?
Useless hypotheticals. But I can’t stop thinking about how everything changed as simple as that. How would their relationship change from that? Was he ashamed? Would he apologize to her? Would he apologize to the dog? Would the apologies be sincere? Would he learn anything from me?
Did I have anything to learn from this? My foot kicked the soccer ball into the net. If I did - what would it be?
Current musical obsession: “Bright Lanterns” - The Tallest Man on Earth
Kristian Matsson personifies objects with beautiful simplicity.
I feel he at times described me with his lyrics, in this case, I always feel that the mountains don’t accept me. Quite yet. I haven’t earned their trust. And I don’t deserve it.
I accept chaos. I’m not sure chaos accepts me.