A Way I Have of Driving Off the Spleen

“…Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can…”

Had Ishmael been a falconer, he might have ventured then into some High Plains cow pasture and told us quite a different story. Moby Hare, perhaps.

Hawking season’s here. I know I’m writing less and being less productive generally. Except for when I’m in the field, I’m usually thinking of it. Steve too reports a strong seasonal urge to get outside: to take the dogs hunting, see some country, visit friends and maybe knock a few hats off:

“I might be a bit slow blogging for a bit, at least on ‘read this’ type posts.

“I need to get out more, as sitting in this chair is killing me mentally and physically. Mentally I’m sure you can understand. Physically is a bit scarier even. I put myself to a very hard Magdalena hike because I thought I needed to improve my wind (4000 feet up and down over a six- mile course, all washed out so I was walking on boulders). My wind was fine. My arthritis was another story–bad enough in my hip and shoulder that I am picking Annie’s brain on hip transplants. Couldn’t sleep even with painkillers for two days. I knew it was bad but…”

I suggested we take a break from the blog, post a virtual “Gone Huntin’” sign on the shop window and come back to it in March. But Steve and Reid are both still eager to write, if maybe a little less often with the “news commentary,” now almost de rigueur in this format. We all agreed we’d rather follow the lead of our favorite bloggers in the sidebar—most of whom leave news commentary to the talking heads and strike out on their own.

So, no closing the shop at Querencia; more like a reduction in office hours.

“I honestly don’t want to shut it down–just take a breather….I won’t be communicating any less whatsoever, and keep sending me news stories. I’m just trying to be a little less obsessive about the Internet. It’s insidious. With no ability to go hawking, I just sit in the chair more and more, which makes me less physically able and more dependent on the web, and so on.”

I’m guessing most of our readers understand… Hello? Anyone there? Steve, Reid: I think they’ve all gone hunting.

High plains cow pasture?


  1. I’m guessing most of our readers understand…

    Oh my yes. Gone mental walkabout myself of late. Less internet, more kicking of things.

    One of my favorite quotes, by the way.

  2. You bet….love the shot of Steve and Lashyn, you can see the grass seed heads which have changed the NM grasslands from their typical brown stubble into an ocean of purple and red – a rare sight here.

  3. So well understand.
    And commiserating — I too have a hip that’s nearly ready to be re-done! Another hound man I know too – just wants to get thru the season! (I think all the walking with these hounds – it’s a bargain price to pay!)
    Best regards all round,

  4. Hell with the hip! I was studying my twingy fingers this afternoon and remembering my mother’s twisty hands. I can always sit down, but what about keyboarding!!

    Well, maybe I ought to think about my hip. Got to drive to Missoula on Friday for the Montana Festival of the Book — three hours each way. I don’t stay overnight. Dangerous on that side of the Rockies. I’ll ask for folks who know Bodio. If your ears get hot, it’s not rheumatizm.

    Prairie Mary

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