So yesterday I felt like I was going to tear somebody’s head off. I couldn’t focus at work, and it seemed like every fiber in my body was telling me to get up from my cramped little cubicle and run until I collapsed. I wanted to go outdoors and feel the wind and the heat of the sun, to feel my feet beating the ground. I wanted to scream and laugh and pull my hair. I wanted to be noisy and violent and unabashedly alive. It’s those kinds of moments that remind me I’m still fallibly human, that just because I’m a follower of Christ, a civilized, sophisticated being, doesn’t mean that I’m always demure and patient. I am always an animal, savage and primitive, and sometimes it comes to the surface, raging against the slacks and the laptops and the car washes and dog leashes and administrations. I was born an animal and I will die an animal.
Some parts of humanity must be embraced, and others suppressed. We are self destructive creatures, and all that God does is provide us the knowledge to see our self-mutilating tendencies and to stop them before we completely ruin ourselves. But there are parts of humanity that can and should be cherished. The senses for instance. They are beautiful and strong. If I want to stick my head out of the car window like a hound and mess up my hair just to feel it flying around my face like soft tendrils keeping me tethered to my own existence, you better believe I’m going to do so. And so I did.
This feeling of connectivity with motion and physics and the natural laws of the earth convinced me to pick up my bow again. It has been a long time since I have been an archer, and some part of me felt I may never be one again. But yesterday I dug in a box that sits in the corner of my room filled with all my old playthings, books, stuffed animals, carnival masks, and found my heartstring. I strung the bow and went into a field in the park and let arrows fly. And as soon as I heard the quick whisk of the shaft and feathers passing by my ear, I was calm. I had touched something that hasn’t been touched since men carved their stories into rock. I was stroking the small, previously dormant creature that purrs and grumbles beneath the shell of my makeup and designer jeans. A primitive, wily animal that has not forgotten where it has come from, or what it is capable of. And it sleeps, waiting for the moments when I remember who I am.