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Monday, September 18, 2006

8 Seconds of Eternity

As a child, my family would take summer trips back east to Indiana. As a young boy I was allowed to run free on several very large farms. There was always one very distinguishable common rule, leave the bulls alone! I can remember one real mean bull from my childhood, Mr. Wilson's. Mr Wilson owned a huge farm that included a huge white barn. This barn was a thing of wonder, three stories high, a place to park two full size combines, a dairy for milking 25 cows, and a big black bull. The bull was always in his own pen. I can remember sneaking down the dark and smelly breezeway and peeking between the boards. The bull would snort and lunge towards me. Terror would sweep through my body and I would run suppressing my desire to scream lest I would be caught.

As a young teenager, I started to help a friend of a friend (Guy) who was a bull rider. This was awesome! I got to climb up on the corral and help Guy as he situated himself on the snorting and twitching beasts. It did not take long before the overwhelming desire to get on one of these mean masses of angry muscles took hold of me. One afternoon we were at the rodeo having a good ole time. We helped Guy get on his bull, tighten the rope to his liking and ensure his cowboy hat was just right. He gave the nod and the gate opened wide. The opening of the gate was like the green light at a drag race. This bull went from 0 to 70 right "Now". A twisty tornado from hell this bull was. Most of us think 8 seconds is nothing. However, a lot of living and dying happens in 8 seconds or less. I have found that when life is at it's best, time moves the slowest. If you are one of those people who think that time moves fast when life is at it's best, then you may not realize you have a whole other gear you can shift into. These moments seem to make me a spectator even when I know I am in the middle of possible impending pain and hurt. Surreal Technicolor slow motion passes before my eyes while my mind struggles to comprehend why my body is not reacting fast enough for my liking. As scary as these moments are, I love them; especially when they are over I might add.

I watched Guy's body react to the heinous treatment of the bulls fury. He came crashing down as gravity took over from the bulls launching. Fate was not on Guy's side today, he landed right under the fast moving feet of pure meanness. The bull began to pummel Guy with everything it could muster. We were only feet away, motionless, scared and mesmerized at the same time. Unrestrained fury grabbing hold of it's own reckoning. I watched the bull's rear left hoof kick Guy in the forehead as his body became as limp as a rag doll. At that moment, life went from moderate concern to sheer terror! I wanted to jump off of that corral and run to Guy. I watched the rodeo clowns try desperately to get the bull away from Guy. I knew that I had no business in the arena at that moment. Immense desire and brideled restraint at the same time.

Guy's ride lasted 4.3 seconds. As I watch the PBR these days I often think of those days with Guy. I think of how eternity can seem to pass in the fraction of time we call 8 seconds. When I think about the 86,400 seconds in each day I wonder how much living do we really take part in?


Anonymous said...

For God's sake... what happened to Guy???

Talking Bear said...

Guy, did not die that day. He was a tough and seasoned adventurer who knew days like that would come and go. By the time I was able to get to him, he did not know who he was nor where he was. His bell was rung, hard. He had a huge knot on his forehead and very little blood streaming down his face. It took him about four days to come around. Yes, he got back on another bull for another 8 seconds. what I loved about Guy was that he made no big deal of the event, just another day of adventure. As for me, I opted not to roll the dice on a bull. I realized that the rule from my farm days was a good one; leave the bulls alone!

Barrett, M said...

You just traded that bull for another kind of bull. Keep charging TB!

Talking Bear said...

Yes, I guess your right Sir.

Talking Bear said...

And I am sure you were not referring to bovine scat (BS) when you said "another kind of bull"

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