TheHunt

TheHunt
"… leaving the possibility for great delight to emerge
from an otherwise completely pedestrian activity."

Every Saturday morning, The Muse and I go on TheHunt. We explain that we head out to restock the larder, but we're actually on The Hunt. Nobody could reasonably label this activity shopping because, while we maintain an indistinct list of aspired-tos, we have little idea if we might find those or where we might find them. We do have a route, an old and largely reliable route, culminating at a supermarket, which serves as the source of last appeal, where what we were not fortunate enough to find might be approximated. TheHunt exists because we don't actually know or, perhaps more accurately, we refuse to accept good enough as good enough.

We know some who religiously head for Costco because they can reliably acquire their heart's desire.
We depart not quite knowing what we might desire, hoping that our excursion might inform us of the possibilities and also of what we might have desired if only our imaginations could have measured up to the challenge. We keep our eyes peeled and pick up what comes into sharp focus, surprising and delighting ourselves while also broadening our palates. We seek increased possibility rather than simple satisfaction. Of course we usually exceed our expectations because we never firmly set our expectations. Still, we're picky. We can enter a BIG box store and leave empty-handed. We're tough customers.

We're done when we've tuckered ourselves out, usually four hours into the adventure. We're filled with wonder and mystery for most of the excursion, and wonder and mystery rank up dog miles on the internal odometer. We don't travel with a completely blank slate. We're seeking whatever's in season, of course, like deer and elk hunters stalk for whatever their license gives them claim to. We and they go to where we suspect we'll most likely find our prey, without any guarantee that our prey will find us. We sometimes return empty-handed, an outcome reasonably chalked up to just another part of the game.

We arrived too late this morning to snag Farmers' Market fennel pollen, having been delayed by the long-delayed re-opening of Grateful Bread, which posts what they're NOT selling on a chalk board out front. We never know until we arrive. I was stalking their sliced sourdough white, which was unavailable today. I chose bread I had not intended to want, instead. The Farmers' Market yielded some fine beets with greens attached and a head of endive we had not suspected we would find. We shunned the heirloom tomatoes in the hope that the familiar produce stand might offer some at half the price, which they did. We often choose to deflect opportunities 'on spec', hoping better game might be found in the next draw. Sometimes we're right. Sometimes, not.

I think of our hunting as a fine cure for shopping, an activity I detest. We're more like stalking our next week's suppers instead. Sometimes, it's cacciatore, the supper traditionally produced to soothe the unsuccessful hunters' wounded egos by their skeptical stay-at-home wives. We can get by. The simple fulfillment of want seems an unworthy purpose for any fresh-faced Saturday morning. Might as well just order on-line. The fuller acceptance of the inherent mystery seems a more adequate focus. We head out seeking to discover, fully aware that we could not possibly know yet, leaving the possibility for great delight to emerge from an otherwise completely pedestrian activity.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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