Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Harry’s Discovery

“Oh god!”, Harry exclaimed to himself. “I’ve been exposed as an unmanly fraud!”

He stared in desguised horror at the young female who had approached him from behind without warning. Harry was so engrossed in the picture he was creating in the ice and snow that he had totally lost sight of where he was.

What joy he was experiencing as his artistic form grew into a personal expression of the beauty he observed. As his massive paw gently shaped each line, using those sharp claws to refine and add texture, he intuitively knew that this was right. This was his truth!

Now he had been discovered by a female who would surely blab this all around the polar bear community…just at the time when his macho character was becoming firmly entrenched with his peers. Shit!

“What’s that, Harry?” she repeated.

“Nothing,” Harry responded sullenly as his giant frame eased across his artwork in a feeble attempt to conceal it. He felt foolish lying prostrate over his creation, spread-eagled in the snow looking up at her in dismay. It was pitiful.

“Actually, it’s a diagram of a system I’m using to catch more seals,” he lied. Then he growled for no apparent reason other than to reacquire some of his pride.

“Well, whatever it was, it’s beautiful! You shouldn’t be lying on it. You’ll squash it and then it it’ll be ruined.”

“Hell, I don’t care. It was nothing.” Harry rolled over on his back rubbing his shoulders against his artwork, forever obliterating what, only a few moments before, had given him more satisfaction than anything else he had ever done.

“What’s your name? Do you know me? Are you gonna tell?”

“I’m Gretchen,” she answered somewhat hesitantly. “”And, of course I know you. Everyone knows you. You’re somewhat of a rock star in our community. And what’s to tell?”

Gretchen was one of the few females who had never shown much interest in Harry, mainly because she found him a little boring. The way he strutted around, prancing and growling, intimidating anyone who approached him. She found this behavior very uninteresting.

Now, quite by accident, she had discovered another part of Harry that no one else knew. And she found it very attractive. Here was a man with sensitivity and style, a gentle man who recognized beauty and longed to express it. All of this she saw in the first instant … watching him so absorbed in his creativity.

“Tell what?” Gretchen asked.

“You know…that I was drawing in the snow when I should have been watching for seal bubbles. I was only doodling.”

Harry suspected his reputation was in dire jeopardy. He should have been pacing and growling around the ice hole…but he wasn’t. Yet, somehow, Harry didn’t feel afraid of Gretchen. He had barely noticed her before. She was one of the few that didn’t seem impressed by his antics. He figured she was probably a lesbian polar bear. How else could she not find him attractive?

“Harry, whatever you were doing, it was incredible. Do you realize what you’re capable of? Why, you have a gift. You have the ability to express the love and beauty of nature like nobody else I know. But, no…I won’t ‘tell’. That would be for you to do. I think our community has been waiting for someone like you though.”

Harry just stared at her defiantly. Who was she to tell him, Harry, what he had to offer. He had power and stature. Men were envious of him…they feared him. Women flocked to him seeking to have some of this power.

Why did he feel so attracted to her? She obviously wanted none of what he had to offer. What else could he give her? Surely not his doodling. Yet he sensed that there may well be something deeper within him that could appeal to the right person. Gretchen might be one. She looked deeper than what he projected on the surface. She looked into his soul…and liked what she saw!

Harry’s eyes softened as he looked back.

“Really?” he asked sheepishly.


Gretchen liked this new Harry – the one she had never seen. She was tired of being constantly pursued by the macho contingent. She knew she had a lot to offer any of them but chose to remain aloof. She figured Harry to be just another strutter…another big talker…another guy trying to hide all his fears in a charade of patriarchy.

She looked back into Harry’s eyes. His defenses were gone now. He was open, no longer afraid. There was a hint of playfulness in those sparkling eyes… a hint of humor…and a host of other characteristics that she figured were dying to come out. He smiled for the first time.

She smiled back.

“It’s okay, Harry. Let’s just sit and talk for a while. I’ll help you watch for seal bubbles.”

Harry felt a joy he had never known. Someone seemed to like him for who he really was. No airs or fronts necessary.

“I wonder where this is going?” he thought. “Dad never told me about this…this being appreciated for being something other than macho.”

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