Friday, April 27, 2012

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Bear

I love springtime in the woods.

Watching the aspen trees wake up and cloak themselves in fuzzy catkins, seeing our plum tree erupt into beautiful lavender & pink blooms, being able to finally show some skin after months and months of putting on winter weight underneath my flannel jammies and bulky sweaters... It's gorgeous. Well, not so much the skin I'm showing, which is more like dried-out fishbelly-white leather rippling with dimples in all the wrong places. But the nature stuff, it's dazzling.

Perhaps the best part is that we start to get thunderstorms in April here at 7,000 feet. 

Last night we had a pretty decent storm. The Boy and I turned off all of the lights, wrapped up in fluffy robes, poured ourselves a springtime cocktail (make yourself a Chilton sometime:  Citron vodka, club soda, squeeze of fresh lemon), and sat on the porch to watch.


The moon was still fairly new and it must have been cloudy because it was dark. Daaaaaaaaaark.  Like "Dark Shadows" dark.We live far enough outside of Denver that we don't get any light pollution and with little light coming through the clouds, we couldn't tell where the sky ended and the treeline began... until lighting would crash and expose everything as if a giant flash bulb had gone off. We gasped each time it happened and then laughed at ourselves for gasping.  It was amazing.

And then... I thought of Ka Tah Din.

Behold: Ka Tah Din

That's right, the Prophecy Bear.

You may find yourself asking:  Um, what?

In 1979 for my friend Terena's birthday, her Mom took a couple of us girls to the movies. We saw a horror film named "Prophecy." To the best of my recollection, the monster from the movie was this giant mutant bear-- created by the toxic waste generated by a saw mill. I honestly don't remember much about the movie except that it took place in the woods and there was this horribly ugly mama bear that looked like a burn victim covered in strawberry jelly-- and let me tell you, she was pissed.  And I may not be remembering this correctly, but I believe the final scene of the movie featured a shot of this extraordinarily angry mutant bear standing on her hind legs and shrieking and roaring towards the sky as her tormentors flew away in a helicopter.

There was no helping this bear. She didn't belong here, not unlike the T.rex inside the buidling lobby at the end of "Jurassic Park."  I was terrified of her-- but I also pitied her. If only we humans didn't need so much saw-milled wood, this poor creature could have lived a normal, cuddly bear life.

And last night for some reason, in the dark out here, my mind reached across the span of 33 years and conjured up the image of this ickily frightening bear standing on her hind legs, railing against her fate. And per my recollection of the ending of the movie, she is still out there.

And it spooks the hell out of me.

I told Derek about Prophecy Bear for the first time last weekend as we drove home late from a night on the town.We were on the lonely, winding road that goes up through the canyon, and after such a delightful evening of amazing food (Bistro Vendome) and wonderful theatre ("Wicked," OMG so good), the thought of a giant mutant jelly-covered she-bear seemed laughably preposterous.

But last night, in the booming, flashing dark...Ka Tah Din seemed entirely plausable. And quite possibly nearby.

So there we were, seated on the front porch, holding hands and delighting in nature's light show. There was a giant explosion of light followed by a huge rumble of thunder...and I whispered "I'm thinking of  Prophecy Bear."

We both laughed. Him, at me, because it is clearly ridiculous to be afraid of a fake mutant bear from a horror movie I saw before I even got my boobies. And me, because I was spooked and didn't want to show it.  And because I also know it's stupid.  And yet...

We stayed outside until the storm was over, then went to bed. Derek dozed off quickly after lights-out...but I lie awake for quite a long time, thinking of poor, misunderstood, terrifying Prophecy Bear. And wondering if she still roams the woods, looking for her creators. My house is made of wood, after all-- and doesn't that count me among the guilty?

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