A Reverie on Failure Part 7: Nature Selects for Deception
Back in the days when I sold the kind of life insurance policies which are bound to the markets, which by extension bind the insurance to market volatility (let the reader understand), I was trained—trained myself—to show potential clients a dizzying array of charts and time-series graphs set on heavy glossy paper, all with arrows pointing up (up eventually over time, and please don’t look at those dips; they won’t happen at the time when you retire or die. Sign here. And here. And here, please), and say, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” And then, “Actually, yes, there is a significant probability that the markets will make a dive to the bottom at the very moment you will want to access these funds. You’ve been around long enough to know the drill.” No one wants to hear that. Depending on the wisdom quotient, or the risk tolerance, or the way the sunlight falls across the table that day, the client may or may not practice self-deception with a signature.
The patterns were laid before me all during October, natural patterns, as predictable and reliable as the rising and setting of the sun. It was only a matter of aligning myself with those patterns, hewing just a few inches closer, and I would have my heart’s desire. Past performance is a guarantee, see, of venison in the freezer, and the subsequent strut throughout the rest of the winter. “Veteran hunter bags another one,” punctuated by a self-satisfied sniff, and an air of superiority. Look at those numbers! You can’t lose!
I picked up the pen, against all wisdom, in spite of the risk, because of the way the light was falling on the fields, and I signed. Back at the home office, the Board of Directors of Nature, Inc. had a good laugh. “He fell for it. Send out the turkeys again!”
This time I brought my matches and managed to light my pipe (for the record, the tobacco is the wonderfully aromatic Sutliff Tobacco Company Mixture No. 79). Even so, it was still difficult to get the tobacco lit, so I think I’ll buy a refill for my nice Zippo pipe lighter. Once I got it lit, though, the ember did that marvelous thing where it centered itself in the bowl and slowly combusted while I puffed away. The wind is prevailing from the south and west. I am sitting high, in the east end of the north side of the field, looking, basically, into the sun.
I can hear Mike cracking his antler set, and it really does sound just like a buck rubbing his antlers against branches.
On occasion, the woods rewards you with activity not necessarily related to hunting. In an earlier journal entry I mentioned the crickets and birds, especially the woodpeckers and blue jays (which were screaming across the field earlier), but I’ve seen a fox and that feral cat. There exists a particular routine you get into: you scan the edge of the field for movement, but every so often, an animal simply materializes in the middle of the field. It’s quite startling when it happens, and when it’s a deer, it’s breathtaking.
Today, six rather large wild turkeys appeared. Their feathers were luxurious, glistening with the fat of harvesttime. They calmly fed down the middle of the field and disappeared in the very east end, where I sometimes station myself. One of them was worth taking, but I’m here for deer.
I have seen deer every time I have come out, which in itself is thrilling — and promising. The challenge to kill one is considerably greater during archery season.
I’m rarely bored, sitting still hour upon hour, but there is the restlessness. Daydreams populate my mind, about things at home and about what kind of deer is going to manifest itself, and where. Let’s hurry up and make the dream come true!