He was loping towards me. Weaving through trees on a well-trodden path known more by instinct than vision. He came nearer then froze. His yellow eyes locked into mine. He held his gaze and I held mine. It was like playing that childhood game of who blinks first.
Direct stares are challenges and he was challenging me to accept the magic. It seemed I had no choice. After a short time that familiar hypnagogic state wrapped me in a soft dreamy blanket. I had entered that state many indigenous people refer to as Still Hunting. My wolf had merged with his wolf.
It must have looked kind of odd. An ageing lady in a squashed panama hat sat upright on a bench in front of a wolf enclosure. Eyes closed, head drooped, and immobile. Many walked by and barely noticed me. Although I knew them. I was now in wolf mode.
In wolf mode I did not see any of the people passing as individuals because they merged. Much like those images you see on television where time slows down for the individual in the centre but everyone else speeds up to create a blur. It seems the need for instant gratification has blinded us. Can’t immediately see the wolves? Then move on to something more entertaining. Many never stopped and those that did easily became uninterested.
Like the wolves I didn’t see them passing, I sensed them. I knew they were coming before they arrived because I could smell them. Oh my days could I smell them. To put it simply humans smell rank. The nauseous wafts of human odour consist of a combination of chemicals such as perfumes, hairspray, deodorants, suntan lotion and body sprays mixed together with un-foods such as baby milk, crisps and sweet-smelling canned drinks. All this alongside nauseating cigarette smoke and sickly vapes.
There were occasional respites where I could smell trees, grass, wallabies and yes even freedom, but they were brief.
Whilst there was at least minimal respite from the smell of passing humans, there was no break from the continual disturbing noise. Shrieking, laughing, screaming, endless yabber, phones ringing, shouting, camera clicks, squealing, crying, chain saws, and machinery. The range of human noise is deafening.
When did our species learn to fill every molecule of air with polluting noise? Put us back in a forest now and the children’s screams of ‘I want’ would make us prime prey.
Experiencing reality through the super senses of the wolf is not to be undertaken lightly. This pack, like others in captivity, have become somewhat desensitized to their environment. Just like us. Yet, meditating with wolves can still be an overwhelming experience.
We are an egocentric species because there is a tendency to believe that everything experiences reality in the same way we do. The fact is no two human beings experience the same reality, even identical twins.
Our unique reality is created through our own individual senses and they differ from person to person - let alone species to species. Using our senses to connect with other humans and other species will help us build a more compassionate future for this planet.
Copyright Dr Kim Brown July 2019