CJ, as part of the advertisment for her traditional Sunday walk into Glen Canyon, says it’s possible to see coyotes. This Sunday she sent me an pre-8 AM email, wondering if I wanted to join her. When I saw the email, I debated. A definite maybe. It would be nice to go, and nice to stay home. I picked up the phone, started to punch in her number, put the phone down. Maybe. Picked up the phone two minutes later. “I suppose you’re on your way by now,” I said.
“Just to the corner. I’ll come back.”
CJ has a route and from what I gathered, it doesn’t vary. This side of the street on the way up, that side the way down. And up is the operative word. The hill you just climbed is just to get you to the steeper one ahead.
We make our way up Diamond Heights, talking about various shades of spiritual practice. The phrase “ball of wax” comes into play, refering to the stuff that accretes to dogma. It sticks to my mind too. The ball of wax as the god itself, the object of veneration. Augmented by candle stubs. Is that pure? Multiplicity of attibutes. Plasticity. Hardness and softness. The god of gob. Handfuls are taken and venerated, heresy for the monotheists.
Unserious mindplay, and verbal play, between huffings. We round a corner at the base of a green grassy hill and CJ exclaims, “Look a coyote” and there it is near the summit, leaping and sprinting back and forth. It is a large animal. It seems so, anyway. A couple walking ahead of us turns around. “It looks stressed out,” the man says. “Better keep away.”
“I hope it’s not lost,” CJ says.
In the few seconds of watching the coyote I’ve interpreted its behavior as a kind of high-spirited gamboling. Now I see it as desperation. Possibly. But who knows? It trots back and forth, occasionally leaping into the air. At one point it is silhouetted on the line of the hill, one degree west of the sun, invisible unless you block out the sun with your palm. The perfect vantage point for an attack, using the sun the way the Comanches did during their raids.
We survive, thank you great ball of wax, and begin the downward portion of the walk, into Glen Canyon. Oh beauty. A trickle of a creek. And before I can settle into my inherent sloth we are heading back up, and Diamond Heights is just as high as it was on our initial ascent. CJ points out the small street where, soaked with rain, she knocked on a door for shelter and the couple took her in and treated her with great hospitality. There is no sign of a coyote.
On the way back CJ mentions how so many people she knows in our age bracket are asking the question, “Shouldn’t I be doing more with my life? Taking more risks?”
And I, ball of wax, have a perfect solution to sidestep that self-nagging “is that all there is?” nonsense. When you meet a maybe, say yes.