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Ramble with Storm: "Are we not men?"

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storm3x Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

I put down the first human tracks by the town pond this morning since the Blizzard of 2011.

Such quixotic quests appeal to me.

There is no real reason I had to climb over the drifts to reach the town pond, but it seemed necessary to me.

Sometimes, you just have to strap on the insulated Carhartts and do stuff to think of yourself as a man.

This morning was one of those.

The only tracks were those put down by snowmobiles. At least one cat was ahead of us. There were a smattering of rabbit tracks and a few trails of mouse tracks.

Too often as modern men I think we forget to think that stupid conquests are part of pushing the world wider.

My thoughts go easily to the meaning of modern man this week.

Wednesday morning, at one point as the last of the lake-effect ended, all the men from about five houses side by side had gathered while we jumped around shoveling and plowing each other's drives.

Or least plowing and shoveling enough that we could get our cars, pickups or vans out to the street.

At one point, there's about five of us adult men and two late-teen boys standing in the middle of the street, spreading the b.s.

And I almost started singing Devo's ``Are We Not Men?'' I don't think that is the complete title, but those who know Devo, know the song.

But I wasn't sure if any of my neighboring men would truly appreciate me starting in with a Devo ditty.

There has been a lot of men gathering and doing manly stuff the last few days around Chicago outdoors.

It feels good, like we rediscovered part of ourselves.

I sometimes think that is the most important thing that the outdoors can restore in us as modern men.

The drifts were wind-packed. Yet again, only one dove flew out of the trees below the old rail trail.

Rugged individualist.

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3 Comments

Great Article Mr. Bowman, I remember seeing DEVO at the Aragon 30 years ago. A brilliant band based on an interesting theory:

The name "Devo" represents the concept of Retrogressive Evolution.....or "De-evolution".

The idea is that humans are no longer evolving forward, but actually regressing, using artifical technologies to mask natural selection "as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society" (Wikipedia). Outdoor-oriented people might say that being out of touch with nature, as so much of the modern world is, plays directly into that theory.

Thanks for a thought-provoking piece.

Around 30 years ago, Park West. Great show.
I think the reason that at 54, I push myself to the limits while out wading is because it makes me feel alive like nothing else does. Almost killed me twice, better that then rotting away in a nursing home some day. Just because I do it doesn't mean I condone wading during floods.
Went tromping through drifts on Thursday for the fun of it. Even with my penchant for cheap cigars and one hanging out of my mouth, wasn't even winded. Muscles don't hurt from all the shoveling.
Not bad I think.
Did my manly thing today of making sure all my bird feeders were full, squirrels taken care of. Tossed some corn down the hill where the deer path goes. Someone's got to do it.

I also like the symbolism of the dove as rugged individualist. These days, with both political parties firmly in the grips of the Military Industrial Complex, a lover of peace truly seems all alone in the world.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on February 4, 2011 8:46 AM.

WWW Chicago outdoors: After the Blizzard of 2011 was the previous entry in this blog.

Ramble with Storm: Snow pellets to William Carlos Williams is the next entry in this blog.

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