Shotgun Satori.....


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Dave McCracken
December 25, 2002, 06:54 AM
Satori, a Zen term for a flash of insight....

Sitting here this Christmas morn, with the family still sleeping and the weather vile, I've a little time to pause and reflect, And for some reason, the insights I've had have often been with a shotgun in hand or nearby.

The earliest Satori were not long after I was housebroken. Wrapped up in a GI Artic sleeping bag, I'd sit in the blind with Pop while he shot Canadas and ducks,shivering with excitement more than cold, and in between flights he'd tell me about his life, though some of the more painful parts he left till later, or died with them unspoken. A man does not burden his loved ones unnecessarily.

Other Satori were learned when Pop hunted with friends.Practically every adult male Pop knew was a vet. One flew C-47s over the Hump in Burma, others slogged through Europe carrying Garands in the 29th Division. The insight here was that men did what was needed, despite the risk and despite the cost.And that men took care of their families, communities and country. Boys were taken care of.

Some Satori came on their own. One time after an adolescent headbutting session with Pop, I grabbed a shotgun and went bird hunting by myself, no dog. After busting enough brush to leave spiderwebs of greenbriar scratches on my arms, I had one quail to show for hours of hard and nigh useless effort.

A couple Satori here. Learn from your scars for one. Another, being bullheaded hurts. And a third, on my return, Pop and I looked each other in the eye and apologized simultaneously,laughed and hugged, with tears.

The insight?

Love forgives...

And someplace along in there came the realization that death is the process by which life moves from one creature to another. And while killing for food or other needed thing was OK, killing for killing's sake was not. Neither was causing pain, and men killed quickly, certainly, and without cruelty. And because death was irreversible, to kill w/o thought was a great sin.

Another came while struggling up the learning curve of wingshooting, Pop was a great shot but not a great shooting teacher.When I finally got to hitting a fair amount of what I wanted to, the lesson was things that are good take work, sometimes lots of work, and time.I'm still not a great wingshot, but that's a work in progress.

Other Satori came in wood and marsh, wild places, with time to sit in a stand or tree and think. One such was that there must be a Creator, there's too much beauty out there for it to be accidental.And since we are built to enjoy it, God wants us to be happy.

Another, that while the acquisition of food was the ostensible objective of hunting, the important part was the hunt, not the kill. Carried a little further, the acquisition of material things may seem to be the objective of life for some people, but living is the important part. And that involves people. not things.

The best to you this Holiday....

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December 25, 2002, 11:51 AM
...flash of insight .
Its not the blued metal and wood carved into stock, nor is it the pocket heavy with shells. Some targets sail on-some become dust, birds continue in flight, others weigh the trek back home.

It is the memories of yore, and the dreams of the future. There is something spiritual. Life's lessons learned,lessons to be learned.

Some would have the wood and metal removed to cure the world of ills.

Dave, myself and others, know better of its healing.

Thanks Dave.

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