Scene from Queen of Atlantis by Jacques Feyder
Anthropology, Part 5
Bigfoots tend to just let things happen. They have a great propensity for insight, but poor memories. They must rely on certain triggers to remember things. They have a kind of magic related to certain objects. They can 'read' them in the sense of how we would read a book. They study all the lines and contours and ferret from them the details of a story the object holds.
This period of reflection constitutes a sort of daily ritual. Time in the corner with the rocks and the sticks, sometimes imagining the millennia pilfering the air from a crystal, sometimes contemplating a bit of grass from between the teeth.
It is a useful evolutionary trait, probably born of many easy days idle in hidden forest vales. They are great observers and pick up more from us than we should likely be comfortable with. But not just us, from the birds, from the trees. We lack the words for such knowledge and it doesn't translate well to civilization.
We have agreements. The forest does not agree to anything. Things make do with their situation. If there are thieves, then things become less precious. If there are murders, well then death was inevitable.
But bigfoot is a little different than the forest. He is a sort of king, but not a regulator. He walks the deer trails, unchallenged, unopposed. The whole forest bows to him. He can beat the great trees till they moan, but not for mercy. He can play with the squirrels, but not for joy. All these formulations add up to something all the same.
I would say he is the forest's hero if I could narrow its definition to just those mysteries of will that govern expedience. He is a great problem solver as long as the ground is level.
Our hierarchies and inconsistencies are difficult for him to grasp. He often talks of this. He says it is like we are each our own species, without constancy. Fluid. We are the great lake lapping the shoreline of ourselves, devouring our own potentials. He compares us to termites. And yet as well to porcupines. And yet again, blue jays. And at last he throws up his hands. The forest lacks such creatures as we are.
Anthropology, Part 4
Men seem to him the greatest spirits of all. Man's dream of perfection is to be exactly what he is becoming, that is, having anticipated everything to the letter. No other creature cares so much for appearances. We want visions to purify the eye. What is ugly, corrupts. What is simple, gingerly singular in its intention, that is beauty.
In some ways, bigfoot is beautiful. In other ways he is the purest vision of ugliness. Insupportably hideous. He is disorganized to the extreme. He is constantly tripping over himself making new plans and spinning his wheels considering other possibilities. He is indecisive finally. His desire to learn is insatiable. He soaks into the ground like water. He is torn on a breeze like smoke. He is ragged and dirty always.
He can't help it I suppose. He was born into a world of simple interlocking systems, driven more by biology than morality. He didn't even have to consider survival so much, sitting at the top of the food chain in the deep forests. He was like the great whales of the ocean, who only need fear man.
He had hidden so long from man, one might say he'd been hiding from manhood. A flawed innocence. Cocksure certainty. And yet the call of civilization, the first glimmers of a broader organization, the first taste of processed food, combine to irresistible temptation. A real sense of what Adam endured when Eve brought the apple into view. Serpent or no, who could refuse?
This is only to say he was clever enough to get himself hanged. Clever enough to fall prey to everyone. Just smart enough to fail miserably. But dumb enough not to realize it, stupid enough to smile the whole way, ignorant, lacking the common sense to save himself.
Anthropology, Part 3
Some creatures make sense of the world with their noses. To them go the smells that issue from all things. Some creatures will only know by taste, those mealy ends we face. We ourselves make sure of things with eyes. We look for correspondences and contrasts, explanations, any will do. Great spirits are better at this than weaker spirits. They can hold a form of great character for a long time.
When I first began to study bigfoot, he did a lot of things that confused me. We had many unusual confrontations before we came to understand one another. I am happy to say that our friendship flourishes to this day, though we haven't seen each other in years. He is a dear friend to my heart and I will not let anyone speak poorly of him.
His senses are stronger in just the way color makes it easier to distinguish the spectacle of light. It is no surprise that people paint. In my own way I've tried to express the beacons of shadow that coat the fields as the clouds dapple the Spring corn. How the brindle cow is figured so marvelously that we consider there is some plan to everything.
Strapped and clattering, we spent many days in close conference with each other. We were both on the edge of madness with our fire to communicate. We invented our own language just to be heard.
Madg melaan gosse tongue.
Take heed, my friend.