Hunting With Ian

Hunter crouches in the woods with his rifle and cell phone

The strangest thing about hunting was how quiet and still it was. Ian emphasized this before we went out — that it became a meditation, to stand or sit for hours in the woods and just observe, and he loved it for that.

At first I treated it like a game, to be a statue like this. I didn’t turn my head. I didn’t shift my weight. My breathing shallow, my heart an oyster buried in sand. Just the field in front of me, and my eyes scanning, back and forth, or settling in the waving reeds. For a minute, two minutes, what is time any more. When you’re listening with this much expectation, everything begins to sound like an approaching animal, and your eyes dart — is this the moment? Do we spring into action now?

After a while it would feel like a spell had been cast. What if I’ve forgotten how to move, I’d wonder. I’d test it out, slowly. Can I bend my knee, just a little? And every time there would be a moment, before effort overcame inertia, when the answer seemed to be no, motion is no longer possible, time has stopped perhaps forever, and the magic and the power of that was terrifying. And then suddenly — perceptible only by feeling — my knee would bend.

Full album: here.

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