The Tracker Magazine →
Vol 1, No. 2, Feb 1982
Magazine - Vol 1 No. 2, Feb 1982
The night was overcast and cold.
An icy wind stung my face, but my heart was warm as I pulled my capote
tighter around me. The softly
falling snow had been a tranquillizer to my soul.
The long absence from the woods had cost me my inner peace and I no
longer walked in balance with my earth mother.
Few places on earth represent the quagmire of humanism and humanistic
ideals more than the campus of a university.
Weeks of teaching the headlong rush of electronics technology had left me
drained and despairing. This same
haunting question kept eating at my heart: “What is this coveted thing we call
The snow had stooped and now the sky was
clearing as if the Great Spirit were pulling back a great cover to reveal a full
moon. Slipping along on skinny skiis, the weight of the pack on my back gave me a fullness of being. The awesome beauty of the powdered snow diamonds falling from
the trees in the pale blue light of the full moon filled me with joy.
What would my colleagues think if they could see this mad, wretched
example of the academic community, the “genteel intelligensia”, frolicking
like a child at 4 A.M., miles from rational man's last footsteps?
What is the essence of life?
With the quiet hiss of the skis, I glide
down the slope into the clump of pines, giving flight to the two does and the
buck taken by surprise by my arrival. Man
has put them to flight, but they pause at the top of a hill for they realize a
brother. The wind has burst through
the boughs of the pines with a song that has always touched my soul with the
deepest peace. I have often sought
out my brothers the pines for they can heal my tensions as no “white
man’s” medicine can.
The morning star is just breaking the eastern
horizon and bathes the cleansing white blanket of snow that covers my mother,
healing her wounds, preparing her for the south's revival. Such is as the Great
Spirit wished it: the four seasons in turn, the circle of life. Renewed and at
peace, I slowly make my way through the pines. Suddenly I am jolted back to the
realities of the broken circle. My skis had dislodged a spent six pack of beer,
left, no doubt, in the hedonistic quest for self-gratification with no regard
for others or the circle of life. It is stark testimony that man alone breaks
the circle and wantonly and willfully scars our mother with wounds that cannot
be healed by the north's cleansing power nor the south’s renewing power. Where
does he suppose he will go when the circle is broken?
With a sorrow-laden heart, I head for home. At
what price is "progress"? Man's craving desire for “technology” is
his excuse to rape and plunder the earth. Where is technology going? Is it
buying us a better life? Have we lost the true essence of life? Man has not only
lost his brotherhood to the four-logged, the winged, and all the members of the
circle, but he also grows further from his fellow man.
||As I approach the edge of the woods, I’m
struck as if by a revelation. I realize that there before me is the essence of
technology. I gaze at the monument to man's wisdom, his knowledge, his progress.
Quickly stripping my skis, I climb the monument to take in its full impact. Yes,
this is it. This is the answer I have been seeking for. Here is the true meaning
of man's technology. As the old rusted car door slips from beneath my feet and
careens down the pile of discarded washers, tvs, and halfeaten food, I realize
that this is the epitome of man’s technology. The landing of a man on the moon
is heralded as the pinnacle of man's technological achievement. Did we not go to
that virgin asteroid and erect a monument to our technology by leaving all our
garbage? Is that how man views his mother earth - as something to be used and
All things form the chain of the circle of life
- each dependent on the other. Everything has its place and is necessary for the
wholeness of the circle, save one, man. Man alone stands outside the circle, for
the circle can exist without him. Yet man depends on the circle for his
existence. Will man, in all his professed wisdom and knowledge, continue to
relentlessly try to break the circle of life, cutting my mother's breath,
poisoning the land, indiscriminately killing? Will the pompousness, arrogance
and greed of man make the ultimate monument to technology the extinction of man
and possibly all life on the earth? Or is it possible that man stands outside
the circle of life for a purpose? Did the Great Spirit, in His infinite wisdom,
prepare for this eventuality?
As I made my way slowly to my car, I tried to
prepare my mind to cope with the return to the forefront of technology. My mind
fought everything that technology stands for. In despair, I climbed into the
car, my mind desperately trying to rationalize how I could teach my students the
technology with a conscience, while deep in my heart my soul cried angrily to
the Great Spirit for the great purification.
(Gary was a member of the first class Tom held
on the farm. He and his wife MaryAnn were also in the third class an the farm in
which Dick and Vicki were students. Gary presently teaches avionics at Southern
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