Posted by: Tonietta Walters | 14 February 2013

Straddling Worlds 2

Straddling Worlds 2

Deer by Driveway: wondering what we’re doing on its land…

Went to check on the skin a little while ago…

(Straddling Worlds 1)  I forgot to make a post when I first started working on it.  I shed some tears that day. You have to understand that I really am one of those people who doesn’t understand things until somehow they are experienced in a certain, usually tactile, way – it’s why I am an artist and choose to do sculpture.  Don’t get me wrong, I do understand the texture of “meat” but I suppose not in this way.

Yeah, I am not going to become a vegetarian any day soon… um, ever.  The sauce I made with minced venison was especially delicious – probably because I made it and now understood the preciousness of how I came to have it.  However, after handling a skin for the very first time I finally understood things about inter-connectedness, about the circle of life.  If you are a queasy person, stop reading now.

What’s on the inside of a deer skin is not much different from what’s on the inside of raw chicken just thicker, larger – flesh, fat – I could handle that.  It was the fur and the tail that got me…  The experience of the fur was one of awe – simply beautiful – an experience of the sublime. That was emotional in and of itself. I ran my hand back and forth over it. I was wearing thick, chemical resistant gloves but it was the visual. The smoothness, the perfect order of how the dark brown blended into white at the edges where I could see the many ticks that were still attached.  The first tears fell.

I thought of the picture [above] that I had taken maybe three weeks before as we drove up the driveway after a trip to the store.   It stopped and stared at us – not running away until, I guess, it got bored.  White-tailed deer.  I lifted the tail of the skin in my hand because I thought of the many times I stood transfixed – grateful to be able to have the experience of watching the white tufts disappear from view.  I never saw deer before coming here. Now I can get up in the morning and see a bunch of them through the bathroom window.

I looked at the underside of the tail for quite a while as I processed what I was in front of me. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite so grounding as seeing an anus removed from purpose.

Then I put the skin back in the water, closed the container and began to bawl.

A living being was dead – so I could eat.


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