“Squirrel!” Like the talking dog in the movie “Up,” I’m distracted.
While reading, peripheral movements at the bird feeder have snagged my gaze. A small rodent poses atop the Squirrel Begone Baffle.
Book forgotten, I fetch my camera.
I am easily baffled. Prone to distraction:
- hunger clears its throat when I mean to pray, then my feet escort me kitchen-ward
- a traffic accident occurs and I rubberneck
- during party conversations my ears mimic satellite dishes; I eavesdrop on other conversations
Some days my head locks onto the wrong setting: S.W.I.V.E.L.
A tree squirrel can rotate both hind ankles 180 degrees, allowing breezy, head-first walks down a tree trunk. Or the quick-shinny up a metal pole.
To learn from this one—albeit after the fact—I launch an imaginary conversation: “Do you have a message for me?”
Then I give him a voice and let him answer. You seem less agile, he seems to say.
Didn’t see that coming. Cheeky rodent. “Um, are you perchance … packing a metaphor?”
The squirrel does a double-take. Who me?
Claws re-grip the pole. Coast is clear.
Standing fully extended,
the squirrel looks relaxed, yet
primed for action.
“Show-off,” I say.
I’m enacting my hunger.
I suspect he says this because in his furry mind, he suspects I am not.
So I change the subject
Whiskers, or vibrissae, surround the squirrel’s nose, mouth, and limbs. Vibrissae ferry nerve impulses brimming with tactile information straight to the brain.
Which restarts the dialogue. “Okay, Scamp, those whiskers suggest I pursue my current project with all my resources?”
The small head cocks, vibrissae quiver.
“Or … you’re implying a leap of faith will override my latest baffling obstacle: fear of finishing.”
“I’ll discover balance in time for the next upward push?”
“Following my hungers, the God-given kind, might aid my mental agility?”
Tsk. Follow the ache; embrace the fun.
“I get it. Tend the small hungers within my reach. Then extend the reach.”
Distraction: harnessed via imaginary dialogue. If you try this, let me know what happens?
Dug, the talking dog, in “Up”—(watch here).