The she-devil raccoon has been trapped and released, ending a two week reign of kitchen terror. She was able to elude peanut-butter baited trap because she had learned to pull the bait through the nickel-sized wire opening of the trap walls.  Clever little hands.

We finally captured her by covering all but the opening of the trap with a canvas tarp.  She then had no choice but to go through the door if she wanted what had become a favorite treat.  While covering the cage we admired the tarp's malleability and smooth, rip-free surface.  During her evening's confinement the raccoon managed to pull it through the wire grid and shred it.  They absolutely do not surrender, these raccoon.

Surrender? Creatures of the wild do not.  Humans?  We surrender to forces beyond our control.  Often these surrenders are encouraged and welcomed as being ultimately for one's own good (a scary line if I've ever heard one).  Procon lotor  was obviously convinced of wanting nothing less than living a free, wild raccoon life.  Her terms of her own good always as close as her nose.  She is without confusion.

I sometimes envy the wild creatures living in the forest.  They are beautifully equipped for their lives: fang, claw, fur and tail.  Vision as needed and feathers for flying.  Fin and gill filled ponds.  Is it because they are so complete that they have no need for surrender?  Did that make for the relentless nightlong demand to be an uncaged raccoon? To be a free raccoon?

In humankind's relationship to abstract formula, which are many in our lives, there is an ongoing dialogue with ourselves, sometimes others, about the notion of freedom. The raccoon's relationship to visceral formula, which are also many in her life, has no idea of freedom nor need of an idea of freedom.  It is, or it is not. There is no confusion as to her state of being bound, or trapped.  It is, or it is not.  Right now, this moment, today.  To the raccoon belongs complete clarity of being.

And that  I may envy even more than feather, fur or fin.