It came to him that he had turned away from the buffalo not because of a womanish nausea at blood and stench and spilling gut; it came to him that he had sickened and turned away because of his shock at seeing the buffalo, a few moments before proud and noble and full of the dignity of life, now stark and helpless, a length of inert meat, divested of itself, or his notion of its self, swinging grotesquely, mockingly, before him. It was not itself; or it was not that self that he had imagined it to be. That self was murdered; and in that murder he had felt the destruction of something within him, and he had not been able to face it. So he had turned away.
In the distance of my years I cover myself with timeLike a blanket which enfolds me with the layers of my life. What can I tell you except that I have gonenowhere and everywhere?What can I tell you except that I have not begunmy journey now that it is through?All that I ever was and am yet to belies within me now this way. There is the Young Boy in me traveling eastWith the Eagle which taught me to see far and wide. The Eagle took his distance and said, There is a Time for Rising AboveSo that you do not thinkYour small world too important. There is a time for turning your vision toward the sky. There is the Young Girl in me traveling westWith the Bear which taught me to look inside. The Bear stood by himself and said, There is a Time for Being AloneSo that you do not take onThe appearance of your friends. There is a time for being at home with yourself. There is the Old Man in me traveling northWith the Buffalo which taught me wisdom. The Buffalo disappeared and said, There is a Time for Believing NothingSo that you do not speakWhat you have already heard. There is a Time for Keeping Quiet. There is the Old Woman in me traveling southWith the Mouse which taught me my limitations. The Mouse lay close to the ground and said, There is a Time for Taking Comfort in Small ThingsSo that you do not feelForgotten in the night. There is a Time for enjoying the Worm. That is the way it was. That is the way it shall continueWith the Eagle and the BearWith the Buffalo and the MouseIn all directions joined with meTo form the circle of my life.I am an Eagle. The small world laughs at my deeds. But the great sky keeps to itselfMy thoughts of immortality.I am a Bear. In my solitude I resemble the wind.I blow the clouds togetherSo they form images of my friends.I am a Buffalo. My voice echoes inside my mouth. All that I have learned in lifeI share with the smoke of my fire.I am a Mouse. My life is beneath my nose. Each time that I journey toward the horizonI find a hole instead.