Saturday, 23 October 2010

My arm is whole

Have just reassembled one of my two bows preparatory to tuning and begun the long slow process of restoring my shooting muscles to usable standard. There is a sensation, which must be not unlike regaining one's sight or sense of smell. The rediscovery of the joy in a long disused skill. There's something very pleasing about the dynamic heft and feel of a bow. The conversion from mute components into a living thing with a will that says "I live."

Now I know this is pretty subjective, but if you can't indulge your subjectivity once in a while, then self awareness becomes somewhat over-rated. I suppose it's one of the reasons I love shooting a bow rather than a gun. With a gun, all you get are the recoil and the smell, with a bow, you become the weapon. For me there's always been a large element of Zen in shooting.

Whole post over on 'Archery related stuff'


Angry Exile said...

Yep, it's subjective. I get the same feeling of oneness with a shottie - the way you plant your feet just so; the way you almost lock yourself on to the woodwork shoulder, cheek and both hands; the turret like way you move your body above the hips in two planes to track the clay's flight path with the muzzles; the way your brain tracks the clay's flight path and does all sorts of incredibly complicated maths on the gun's behalf without your being conscious of it just to work out the best time to fire; the way you sometimes know even as the trigger comes back that the clay is going to get well and truly smoked; the thump in your shoulder at almost the same instant your eyes register the expanding cloud of bitumen fragments drifting off to one side as you swing through the clay's 'kill zone', mind perhaps already tracking a second clay and torso making another turret like swing to bring the barrels into line to track the second flight path.

Above all, there's the way you can smash clay after clay after clay all morning and it feels as natural and instinctive as taking your next breath, but the second you start trying to think about it all, or even just a small part of it, you suddenly find you can't hit a cow's arse with a banjo. Zen? Could be. More than once I've expected to hear the wisdom of some little 900 year old green guy with a stick.

Point the gun you must. There is no aim. Empty your mind...

Bill Sticker said...

There is no aim. Empty your mind...

Wisdom of some little 900 year old green guy with a stick?

Yoda can sod off, or I'll turn the little sucker into an instant kebab, Force or no at anywhere up to 100m. Welcome to my dark side.

Angry Exile said...

I could manage a colander but I have to give you this, turning him into a kebab is much cooler. :-)

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