Tag: Words4jp’s Blog

Utterly beyond words!

A connection with a wild animal doesn’t get better than this.

You may wonder, dear reader, how I “square the circle” in terms of a post title, Utterly beyond words, and then reaching out to you with the use of words!  My answer to that legitimate question is that if I reflected for the rest of my life, I couldn’t verbalise adequately the feelings (but note p.s. at the end of the post) that went through me, and through Jean, when a mother deer and her young fawn, crossed the boundary between their wild, animal world and our human world.

This is what happened.

Last Sunday afternoon, around 4pm, I was pottering around the area of fruit trees just above our stables.  We were fully aware that deer were coming in to our property to eat fallen apples as many times we had caught a glimpse of them through a window.

Anyway, on this particular afternoon outside by the stables, I noticed a deer eating some fallen apples and, somehow, picked up the idea that this gorgeous, wild animal was not stressed-out by me standing there looking at her from some twenty feet away.

After a few minutes of just watching, I quietly went across to the garage where we keep a bag of cob, or cracked corn, that we use to feed the deer during tough winter times.  I collected a small amount in a round plastic tray and went back into the orchard area and sat with my back against the trunk of an old oak tree, spread my legs apart and placed the tray with the cob in between my knees.

The mother deer was still hunting around for fallen apples but within a couple of minutes looked across at me, clearly smelling the cob.

Slowly but steadily the beautiful creature came towards me and, miracle of miracles, trusted me sufficiently to eat from the tray.  Her head was well within arm’s reach of me!

I was totally mesmerised by this beautiful, fragile, wild animal, head down, eating cob less than three feet from my face!  I had the urge to touch her.

Slowly, I reached forward and took a small handful of the cob from the tray and with my other hand pulled the tray to one side.  My hand with the cob was fully outstretched; my heart was whispering to the deer that I would never, ever harm her.

Softly, gently the deer reached towards me and nibbled the cob from my left hand.

Later on, when I relayed this incredible event to Jean, I said that if it was at all possible we must try and take a photograph of a wild deer feeding from our hands.

Moving on to Monday afternoon, camera ready if necessary, we kept an eye out for the return of the deer.  There was no sign of her.  Looked as though it wasn’t going to happen.

Then just before 7pm, I looked up from my desk and there, just outside the window, was the deer.  But even better, this time the mother was accompanied by her young fawn.

I grabbed the camera and quickly told Jean to meet me outside with a refill of cob in the same plastic tray.  We both sat down on the flat concrete cover of the septic tank; me with the camera, Jean with the tray of cob.

Over to the photographs!  The daylight was fading fast and I was hand-holding the camera, thus these are not the sharpest of pictures.  But so what!

The mother deer not even startled by the sound of the camera shutter!
The mother deer not even startled by the sound of the camera shutter!

oooo

Mother deer reaches down to feed; the tray is about three feet in front of Jean and me.
Mother deer reaches down to feed; the tray is about three feet in front of Jean and me.

oooo

Jean reaches forward and gently draws the tray closer to us. Mother deer continues to feed.
Jean reaches forward and gently draws the tray closer to us. Mother deer continues to feed.

oooo

Then, unbelievably, the wild deer continues feeding as Jean fondles the deer's ear.
Then, unbelievably, the wild deer continues feeding as Jean fondles the deer’s head and neck.

oooo

The trust between the deer and Jean then enabled the deer to feed from Jean's hand.
The trust between the deer and Jean then enabled the deer to feed from Jean’s hand.

oooo

There was a rustle in the leaves some twenty feet away and we saw the fawn watching her mother feeding on the cob. Jean pushed the tray away, just by a few feet, and the fawn came right up to her mother.
There was a rustle in the leaves some twenty feet away and we saw the fawn watching her mother feeding on the cob. Jean pushed the tray away, just by a few feet, and the fawn came right up to her mother.

oooo

The culmination of the most magical of experiences: mother deer and her fawn eating together some three feet in front of us.
The culmination of the most magical of experiences: mother deer and her fawn eating together some three feet in front of us.

When I published my post Space for Nature a little over a week ago, a post that included a photograph of two deer some thirty feet from Jean’s car, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what took place last Tuesday afternoon.

Words truly do seem inadequate.

P.S. It is at times like this that we need poetry.  So how about it: Sue? Kim? How would you describe in poetry what Jean and I experienced?

Having yourself as your best friend.

The power of having a great friendship – with yourself!

Today’s post came as a result of some poems published by Kimberley over at Words4jp’s Blog.  She and I follow each other’s blog and each often stirs the other’s emotions.  There was a sad post published by her on the 23rd April called within.  Part of the comment that I wrote to that post read as follows:

Oh, it pains me to read your post. You are such an open, honest person; well that’s what comes across through your writings. Knowing and loving ourself is the only worthwhile journey of our life. For without being at peace with who we are, we will struggle to be at peace with others.

Kimberley published another post the following day, friend and foe, that again struck me as being sad.  Read it and see if you agree with me.

it is said

to keep one’s friends close

but

to keep one’s enemies closer

SO

could this explain

WHY

when i look in the mirror

i find

i am becoming less of a friend

and

more of an enemy –

to myself

?

After reading both those poems I ‘threatened’ Kimberley that I would write a post on becoming friends with oneself.

Here it is.  Adding immediately that I’m drawing heavily on a conversation that Jon Lavin and I had a few months ago; Jon’s background can be looked up over at The People Workshop. Jon is the professional psychotherapist – I am not!

ooOOoo

Knowing who we are.

On the 24th January last, I published a post under the title of 20:20 self-awareness.  Included in that post was this:

What we hear and what we say are both modified, frequently unconsciously, by past events, experiences and trauma. That being the case, then it is key, critically so, that we achieve the best possible self-awareness. Because it is only through an understanding of our past that we come to learn of our sensitivities and our associated ‘tender spots’ and their potential for ‘pulling our strings’. Here’s a personal story.

In 1956, when I was 12, I experienced a trauma that was interpreted by my consciousness as emotional rejection. By the age of 14 that sensitivity to rejection had descended into my subconscious. For fifty years, that sensitivity remained hidden yet continued to influence my life in many unseen ways, not all of them negatively by a long measure. In 2007 a period of counselling revealed that hidden emotional rejection; brought it to the surface. It changed beyond imagination how I felt, how I behaved, how I was. Nonetheless, that sensitivity to rejection is still there, albeit now visible. Thus when I hear or experience something that tickles that sensitivity I still react. But because I can now see and feel myself reacting, I can sidestep the emotional strings.

OK, but what does better self-awareness not achieve?  Knowing better who we are delivers no cleansing of our past, no removal of the capacity of that past to cause pain.  Those psychological hooks and impulses are still alive and well!

So what’s the point of knowing better who we are if that greater self-awareness doesn’t remove those hooks and impulses that have the capacity to cause us pain?

The answer to that last question is this.

Greater self-awareness brings about control by the self of the self! We are able to start the slow process of gaining trust in ourselves.  Trust; as in emotional trust. Being able to emotionally trust ourself is a central theme in psychotherapy solutions.

When we trust the emotional person that we are then we have achieved a liking for the person that we are.  Bringing to mind the truism that you cannot like another if you do not like yourself. Like = Love, of course.

So two things to offer to close the post.

WakingTiger

The first is that if you have any suspicion, or know for certain, that you have experienced trauma in your past life, especially in your formative years then the book Waking The Tiger by Peter A. Levine is a valuable resource.  You can learn more about the book including reading the first chapter on the Somatic Experiencing website.

The second is to repeat the short film that was included in the 20:20 self-awareness post.  This is how it was introduced:

The following is a short, twenty-minute, documentary film about fear. Do watch it. The message that we are so profoundly a product of our past is beautifully presented.

Take good care of yourself!