Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts containing random insights into the seasonal saga. This is #14. It’s Monday, so it concerns the soul. And, as the others, is not in any particular order. But will be when pigs fly.
Deer guides, mentors and spiritual advisors serve the herd. An exception was made in Rudy’s case, as his parents sought the Peerless Elder Greer for their calf.
Elder Greer’s mentorship included the rudimentary skills for success, with one exception: Literature and the Arts. In his later years, Rudy would recall his exposure to The Deer Lay Down Their Bones, the poem from Robinson Jeffers, as a pinnacle in his life.
“I was young, yet I learned that aging is not for the faint hearted,” Rudy said. “Growing old takes courage and bravery, to face the end.”
The poet tells of climbing up a winding path to a crevice, where he is overcome by the smell of rotting flesh. He looks down and there, in the midst of ferns and a gentle stream, lay piles of deer carcasses.
“I understood that the place was a refuge for wounded
deer; there are so many
Hurt ones escape the hunters and limp away to lie hidden; here they have
water for the awful thirst
And peace to die in; dense green laurel and grim cliff
Elder Greer’s words would stick to Rudy like the velvet on his antlers:
“Would that all beings could have sanctuary. In life as well as death.”