Monday, August 09, 2004

Sister Squirrel

Among other things I lost my food equanimity, the past four days, and prowled back to the kitchen again and again, looking for more to eat -- not hungry, but desperate, frozen in a predatory state, wolfing things I don't even particularly like -- handfuls of chocolate chips, flax bread soaked in butter. It's an expression of rage, for me.

At the same time my practice, of course, came apart -- by which I simply mean I stopped it, stopped doing ngondro, stopping doing shamatha. Again a sense of being a trapped animal baring its teeth at a bulldozer.

Speaking of which, we got our neurologically-damaged squirrel off to a woman to rehabilitates wildlife down near Salem. Audobon does wildlife rehab, but not for non-native squirrels: this one of ours is apparently some aggressive city-slicker east coast squirrel that's moved into town in the last generation or two, not a trusty equable easy-going native Oregonian squirrel. (Visions of Portland hospitals admitting only Native Americans went through my head. Sure, you could take Whites or Asians or Africans there, but all they could do with them would be to humanely euthanize them.) -- (Yes, yes, I completely understand the policy, and have a measure of sympathy for it.)

Maybe our squirrel had fallen on her head. Maybe she'd gotten into some pesticide. Anyway, all she could do was run a couple paces before she fell down. You could tell plainly that sometimes she would intend to run North, and would find herself running East. Then she'd make a leap and land on her side. Sometimes her head would cant over, as though she were turning it farther and farther to catch up with a horizon that was spinning away from her. We kept her for a week, while we tried to find someone who might either take care of her or tell us that she was a hopeless case.

She hated us with all her heart. I'm pretty sure she considered that we were the ones who had done this to her, and now we were keeping her caged, as well. She drank our water and ate our nuts and apples, but she bared her teeth and made ready to die for the emperor whenever we hove in sight. Remarkable how distressing it is to have a being in your house who loathes you.

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