The sun broke the plane of a rugged mountain range as I awoke from a very cold night. My hunting the previous day had been fruitful, yet I did not sleep well. My prey, a beautiful deer, did not feel particularly like dying the last night and I was forced to run much further than I wanted deep into the dusk. Yet at long last I had slain my food, and rested with it until the dawn.

The next morning I had work to do. I had to convert this carcass to usable food, and it would take several hours. It would be sticky work, and messy work, with many flies to cover the hands and arms. It was certainly not the kind of work you wanted to do. If you could, you would ask your friends to help you, but they would usually find an excuse to avoid it. Normally, I would have to do it myself.

Yep as I sat next to my morning fire I felt tired and drained from the cold damp night previous. What, after all, is the huge rush to do this bloody task? The morning was cool, the day would be cool.  The poor deer was certainly not gonna stand up and run away. I could find the time to relax on this fine morning and take a while for the smoke and fumes from my fire to get deep to my bones.

Yes, I can wait.

I leaned back against my burden and stretched my legs towards the warmth. Close my eyes and played with frivolous thoughts until I slipped into slumber. The sun climbed beyond the trees until it stood squarely above me. When I was good and ready I open my eyes and whiped the scum from my vision.

Sadly, I felt more fatigued then before. The day was half gone and I had nothing to show for my indulgence. Guilt trickled up my legs, beginning at my toes and finishing somewhere between my stomach and my throat. I stood uneasily and looked around in case my mother was watching.

Then, of course, I lay back down close my eyes and slept two  more hours. I still had the whole day before me. No reason to feel bad, no cause to feel paranoid, no rhyme to be uneasy. Rest. Rest. Turn over. Pretend to rest. Ignore your thoughts. Turn over again. Resent the sun for moving. Eyes open.

Now what?

My brother finally found me, leaving The village that morning to find me. There he stood all six feet of him, staring down on the horizontal slab of sibling. His eyebrows good high on his face and his eyes rest on my deer. His thoughts were nearly audible. Why hasn’t my brother finished the messy work? I made sure not to leave the village too early this morning so that this unpleasantness would be finished. Now the lazy bastard is sleeping in the middle of the day?

He cleared his throat, telling me that he did not find my performance convincing. I cracked my eyes open, a bad actor to the last.

“It’s a terrible shame that you still have chores to do. Late last night the Sparrow Clan reached the village. They had many baskets of berries and one of them was carried by the blue eyed daughter of the Bear. Tsk!”

I sat bolt upright. I had been secretly in love with a beautiful, blue eyed girl who was jealously guarded by a giant of the warrior in another clan. Here rarely let his flower out of his sight for fear that she would fall in love with a low down stick jabber.

“Oh yes, she was very interested in seeing certain absent hunters. She even decided to disobey her instructions to return to her own village, and stay til noon time  the next day, in hopes that certain absent hunters would return in time to send her off. What a shame that he decided to nap that instead of bringing his deer home!”

Laughing, he stalked away into the forest. My eyes stayed wide open, drying in disappointment until tears forced them closed.

The sun dipped slowly below the treeline, and the darkness and coolness returned to my sad, little world.

Advertisements

The following is a guest post from Dr. Spurven Ten Sing of Cassius University, who has run further than he should have run and now paying a special price.

Oh, how we do not lose the optimism or foolhardy disposition of the youth! I stepped outside my door and relied upon my own body to move me across the meters. This was not in itself a mistake, the mistake came from underestimating the importance of mileage already logged on the body. It seems that all the steps I have already taken have conspired against me in my endeavors!

Sadly, my first attempt at running since my youth lasted a mere 100 meters, but my cruel muscles interpreted the journey to have lasted 100,000 meters. I sit in my chair gazing at my computer screen trying to ignore this stiffness and the burning within my body. I walk with a limp each step reminding me of my folly. What possessed me to attempt this journey?

Oh yes, I was trying to feel young again. I recently turned an uncomfortable age and was trying to feel like I did when I was 30. One would suppose that an old gray man like myself would know better than that. Yet what surprises me still, is the feeling I have beneath the pain that I lust for another bout with the hard Earth under my feet.

I am overcome with a feeling of immense optimism that the world is calling to me. I am even now thinking about how the sun warms the sidewalk and the heat radiates and forces the scent of cut grass into my nostrils. I am even now thinking about the unique sensation of warmth and coolness as my feet transition from asphalt to vegetation. I can behold an image of a street sidewalk stretching around a bend, hiding something that I have not yet seen, but shall be worth earning.

No, my muscles betray me! How dare they seize and punish me for only wanting what man has always wanted? The years which have granted me gray hairs and wisdom have slowed me, but they will not stop me. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!


The following is a guest post by Dr. Spurven Ten Sing of Cassius University. Join Dr. Ten Sing next month for a public lecture series in the B. H. Roberts building on the main campus of Cassius on each Monday in August for a wonderful survey of Mopologetics in the post-Watson period. That’s room 201, B.H. Roberts building, 7 PM.

Having resolved to regain the youthful timbre of my body. I set out on the roads the other day and decided to visit the world of running. I felt confident that I would have no problems conquering the miles. After all I had done this many times before, although that was many years ago when I trained and competed as a cross country runner at University.

The problem though, is that I am not a young man anymore. My joints talk back to me after a long night of heavy rain or deep cold. They tell me that I cannot abuse my body in the ways I use to do when I was a pledge or a foolish young man on a mission. How can I begin to run again and log so many miles like I use to without abusing my body?

Of course research is what I do best , so I visited the book of knowledge, or has some people call it, Wikipedia. I found that problems with joints is a common problem amongst runners, especially older runners. However, there were few credible explanations as to why is this could be the case. I thought of my friend, the owner and operator of this blog, and realized that I was over thinking the problem once again.

Humans have been running at various distances and for various reasons for many, many years. They’ve been doing this running without any special gear or training all along and have relied on not only their wits, but also their feet to get dinner.

So, thus inspired, I kicked off the rather expensive running shoes I had purchased, and left my home. Within a few steps I could feel that running without shoes would be very, very different than running with them. The earth exploded with textures and temperatures of which I had never suspected. My eyes and sense of perception had moved from my head to the bottom of my legs. Each step twanged millions of nerve ending that I suspected had never felt anything but the inside of a damp sock. I walked along the sidewalk, aware of these sensations and feeling free.

It was nearly instinctive to begin an easy jog. The easy jog felt wonderful, my feet felt elastic and vivacious. Soon my easy jog had converted into a quicker lope. My naked and nude feet begins to gently slap the concrete, flip flop flip flop flip flop.

Soon however, my out of shape body, that is to say my shriveled and ancient lungs slowed me down to a stop. I stood on the corner of the first block of my journey, bowing to an invisible god in some sacred direction. Oi. This is going to take some time to get used to, at least for my lungs, I wheezed to myself.

I returned home walking in shame. I felt weak, I felt old, I felt squeezed out like an empty toothpaste tube. I felt like I would either cough up blood or throw up my spleen. My muscles felt like lutefisk. I could already feel that I would have to wait a couple of days before attempting another cross country trip. Such is the story of old men trying to recapture the young man within.

Running barefoot has taught me that to move is a thing of wonder, a joy of movement. Age has taught me that it is an object of humiliation, a lesson of humility. At least none of my joints are hurting…. yet.


The following is another guest post by Dr. Spurven Ten Sing of Cassius University who is enjoying the free time he has rediscovered this summer and would like to do something about his weight.

Hello gentle readers!

In my last post, I wrote a little piece about age and aging and addressed the relative nature of age. Of course it is natural to reflect on the subject from time to time, usually around birthdays (mine is about a week away, and it is a natural time to contemplate self improvement. Sort of a personal new year’s resolution.

I want to lose weight. Not an obscene amount, I’m not overly fat, just the amount that makes me wince on the rare occasions I step on the Bathroom Square of Evil. I downloaded some neat apps onto my smart phone (which is a wicked awesome toy! If I had one of these thirty years ago, I never would have finished grad school and would have ended up in a menial profession, like a janitor or something ghastly!) and resolved to make the changes in my life that would lead me to long term health.

Among the things I have to do (or not do) is start regular exercise and I have chosen jogging. Why jogging? Well, I used to run a bit back in college when I competed on the cross country team and enjoyed it immensely. I am a bit concerned about what jogging may do to my joints and knees, though, and have decided to go au naturale, that is to say barefoot.

The wife (my lovely bride of thirty five years) is somewhat skeptical of my chances of success, I must tell you, and is convinced I will break my feet. I tell her about Ej Meh, who runs many miles completely unshod over very hostile terrain, but she just smiles. Women! I will will keep everyone posted as to my progress. I don’t know if I will do anything so formal as to include mileage reports, but Ej has invited me to post my experiences here or an my own page (Ihave yot to post there, alas!)

I am excited and nervous but another year is another year for a reason isn’t it?


The following is a guest post by Dr. Spurven Ten Sing of Cassius University, who is becoming increasingly alarmed by the increasing diameter of his aged (seasoned, is perhaps a better word) waist is opining.

I noticed with something of a jolt, that I am not a young man anymore. Not that I claim to be a geezer. No, I have a few more laps in me yet. It does seem to take much longer to wake up in the morning than when I was a wide eyed grad student. The numbers in my pension fund suddenly seem to have multiplied and I caught myself yelling at some neighborhood waifs for stomping all over my Kentucky Bluegrass.

The man in the mirror has collected wrinkles, gray hair, and an expanding girth. What to do?

I don’t feel old! When I sit in the adviser’s lounge in the Old Main building chatting with the other staff members, our conversations are sharp, far better than in my youth. Drs. Scratch will pose a riddle that Reverend Kishkumen then objects to based on a faulty premise while the Dean, Dr. Gadianton, stirs his coffee with a contented grin. We are not old men!

Age is a matter of perspective, really. You are as old as you feel! I don’t feel the five decades and change I have gathered! I merely feel mature, wiser, not given to the foolishness I so often see displayed on the quad involving water balloons and giggling young women!

Age is so relative! In former times, old was based on how long one was expected to live. Forty can be old. To a person who has cancer young, ten is old. I can think of one such man.

Ej Meh, being in his young thirties, is precisely the same age as I am. Not a toothless shadow who needs his food chewed for him, but old enough to lead hunting parties, choose where to take his band when an expected harvest fails, have a voice as to whether to take part in war. Old enough to have had his heart broken, to see people he loves die too soon, old enough to recognize that life is frightfully uneven, cruel one moment, exquisite the next.

To see Ej today, he seems carefree, living to run and to hunt. He smiles easily as he gathers berries at this time of year, gets mud deep between his toes, and laughs often, but I have seen him at the fire. How he stares deep into the flames, focused on a point well beyond the flames, somewhere inside himself. I have seen his eyes as he remembers things we all remember at this age: loved family he has left, lost opportunities, personal sins and regrets.

He blinks several times and swallows and I know what he is feeling. Always, though he is smiling later, telling jokes, figuring things out, and running. Always he is aware the sun is there available to warm the earth. That is what we, who are not aged, have cultivated. An awareness of life. Good, bad, rainy, sunny.

Ej Meh is lucky to have gained this while still young! When he emerged from his slumber, his chronological age ticked back to the prime of his life. He can expect to live into his seventies or eighties, nearly twice the lifespan of his day. He will be smart! Just think of all the further lessons he will have gained, what more ho will know, how much wisdom he will have heaped upon himself the next time he has cause to feel “seasoned”.

As I said, age is not everything!


The other day, I had a serious craving for a type of berry that only grows in and around bogs. The only bogs I knew of lay hidden, cloaked and guarded by miles of trail less forest. The trip would take most of the day and would be a long, long run. I wrapped some bread and scales (1) together in my possibility (2) and began my journey, images of tart, sassy berries already bobbing in my sight.

The sun stood high in the sky before long and I found that the heat convinced me to pray to the swimmers a bit (3). You know, bow, bow, bow, slurp, slurp, slurp, run, run, run. The miles slowly began to be left behind. By the tenth mile, I ate of my bread and my meat. Then more running as the heat and water of the air conspired to smother me.

Eventually, regardless of how much I drank or what I ate, I began to tire. My footfalls, normally very quick began to lengthen and slow. Rocks and twigs found their way into all the softer, vulnerable parts of my feet. I could not relax and wimpy little hills began to force me to walk for short bits. By fifteen miles, I felt lost.

Wearily walking through the forest, a smell surprised me. A fire? Cooking meat? I followed the scent to a small break in the trees where a tent had sprung from the ground, a campfire smokily heating spitting bacon and darkening toast. There sat a man on a lawn chair, cup in hand. Fishing hat covered a bald head above a stocky frame in a vest. Tinted glasses nearly hiding the clear surprise in his eyes at seeing my own pre-historic self.

We stared and sized each other up, one man figuring another out by sight. Lawn Chair Man concluded I seemed tired and offered me a seat by the fire and a drink. I squatted and accepted a metal cup. I returned the favor with some scales of my own. With a small, wordless smile, he filled my cup with steaming black stuff.

I tilted the cup, nose drooping in cautious curiosity. The drink smelled interesting enough. I squinted and held the mug up to the sunlight. (I didn’t feel bad about treating my gift in such a strange manner, Lawn Chair Man was conducting a similar ritual with his meat.) I blew on the liquid and risked a tiny sip. Bitter. Very bitter, like powdered bark or bad water. I sipped some more.

The taste did not offend, though, and I allowed the sips to grow in to slurps and then into gulps. Yum! The stuff may hove been bitter but, it really felt like it was warming me, even though I was not cold. In fact, the stuff really seemed to make me feel happy and the more I drank the better I felt. Slurp!

Wow, I wish I had this stuff on all those long runs where I had like a million miles to run just to find out where the stupid deer got off to all those times that my spear just missed the spot and all I did was graze the wrong part of its body so that I had to follow it around the forest for what seemed like a million miles while its blood slowly left the body so that it would finally lay down and sleep the sleep of the just, or sleep the sleep of the just poked with a long pointy stick with a chipped rock tied to it like the time my maternal uncle saw a giant deer that was walking around this clearing was far too small for it to get out and we had no idea how it had gotten in, but it certainly wasn’t going anywhere but we didn’t have a spear so we chased that giant deer in circles for twelve hours until it got tired and laid down, coughed twice and died and we got to eat all its yummy meat!

I thanked the man and finished my run, slept the night near the bog. I intended to ask the man what the marvelous drink he shared with me on my way back home the next day, but alas, he had vanished. Now I am left to reproduce the drink with bark and roasted roots of yellow flowers. Someday I will find it back!

1. “Scales” are flattened, thinly sliced smoked pieces of meat used on long hunts. The meat can keep for months and are difficult to chew, increasing satiety.
2. Ej hunts with a small, worked leather bag tied or slung near his body. The name of the bag translates roughly to “enveloped unfulfilled potentialities of skin with four red beads on the lower right side,” often shortened to “possibility”.
3. In other words, to drink from streams or puddles. One would appear to be kneeling in worship to the fish below the surface.


Here is the latest coming from us here at cavemandiaries.com.

1. The website is, of course, up and running around in circles. There is a lot to do over there, bios, blogs, ways to get your voices heard, and more. It is also the official home of the Fellowship of the Morton’s Toe.

2. The official blog of Dr. Spurven Ten Sing is also up, but he hasn’t posted anything yet because he has been leading a summer seminar about the sociological impacts of underground Mopologetic beat art. Think “Hidden Exhibition” meets the Maxwell Institute.

3. I have gotten a lot of emails by runners and running groupies who are interested in my persona mileage while I am hunting. While I don’t consider myself a runner, I do enjoy making my readers happy. This will appear as a blog as well, but a short one. With the Latest Entry of the Diaries, we now have three feeds for you all to copy and paste.

4. Cavemandiaries.com has been featured in several computer, internet, running, anthropology, history, general interest and entertainment periodicals. TV talk shows, movie deals are all in the works. My inbox is full to bursting every day, Spurven is having a hard time with all the love packages full of cookies, and we are busy as can be! We need help. If you are, or know someone, who would be willing to sift emails, write code for the site, handle the media, and wash Dr. Ten Sing’s car, email us at ej@cavemandiaries.com or spurven@cavemandiaries.com. The pay may not be very high but this will look great on the old CV.

Thank you all for checking in. More goodies are on the way!


I met a nice young lady in a park last summer. She seemed very nice and would ask many questions about me and about being a caveman and things like that. One day, she suggested we eat food there in the park while sitting on a blanket. She promised to bring typical food for one of these occasions, sandwiches, chips, and soda if I brought her a sampling of traditional food of my people. I agreed and returned home to begin my preparations (I needed to weave a basket).

The next day at the park she spread a blanket on the grass and plopped a basket down beside mine. She revealed its contents: hot dogs, potato chips, and soda. She then peered into my own basket to see what I had to offer. Her eyebrows hopped up and with a sweet expression of confusion, asked where my food had traveled.

“Traveled? I have my food right here.” I said gesturing into the forest that surrounded the park. “We can harvest it at any time.” I led her into the brush and began instructing her about the foliage and what it had to offer with my basket to hand.

We found a flower that yielded a small clump of bulbs that tasted yummy when roasted, but were also edible raw. Near that, we found a type of grass that one could peel down to its budding regions and sup on that freshness. Then a vine that offered bitter green wheels that if swallowed whole, did not taste too horribly. Then some more tuber-flowers, a bit more grass buds, and then we found some berries, hard and immature growing up under a prickly bush on a vine.

The pretty lass seemed fascinated, totally unaware that the verdant background of her normal life could feed her. My basket slowly lost more space to sprouts, buds, and the odd root. After an hour or so it was quite full. We turned to walk back to our blanket but found more to eat that would not fit in the basket. My friend clearly loved the concept of gathering as done by my people. I was thrilled!

My harvesting luck topped the chart, though, as we nearly tripped over an ant pile. I pointed at it with enthusiasm, my finger shaking slightly.

“What luck! This is the perfect example of what my people would eat on those times when we were on the move. This is our picnic food! This is our hot dog!” I explained. With a snap, I secured a stick with which to dig from a nearby tree and soon caused a mini-apocalypse for the poor ants.

Think of how this must seem to the ant. One day their ant city is thriving as everyone is minding their business when a giant stick rips open the ground, killing many citizens as tunnels are crushed and erased as the demonic human finds and then plucks their young to eat. Hard times for an ant. Great times for a hungry caveman on the go. I added the chubby white squirming grains of rice to the basket and then led my friend to safety before the ant city had a chance to retaliate.

We sat on the blanket, now warm in the sun, and I began sorting our wild bounty. Grass shoots in one pile, roots and underground things in another, and the ant grubs allowed to squirm in circles in a final pile. Absorbed, I never noticed how silent my partner had become until I realized I was talking to myself.

I shot a glance her way. She was staring at my little piles, pale and wide eyed. I attempted to lighten the mood with lighter chatter, but she only ate her hot dogs in silence, her eyes never leaving the piles. We finished our meal in awkward silence and we parted ways. I simply don’t understand women. I thought they liked salad type things. Ah well.


Wow. Interesting hunt today.

I intended to leave the house this morning to check some snares and see if I could get some rabbits to run out the bushes, but instead watched a heavy downpour through the window while munching some seeds. Heavy drops churned pine needles up with dead leaves until the ground appeared to be covered in soggy cereal. I waited and waited, making several cups of tea and eating bread.

Fitfully, the clouds rose and sank as the steady stream of water varied, eventually ceasing. Steam, maybe it was the famous dense fogs of this part of the world, gushed from the hillsides and swirled in fresh sea breezes. I knew that all trails would have been erased by the twelve hours of wet. Any detectable trails would be fresh and easy to trace in the soft ground. Very good conditions for hunting. I left the house.

My feet communicate a lot as I tiptoe into the world. First, the rain was cold, my toes and pads tingled as I stepped along a paved road. They also told me that the air and ground did not match the coolness of the rain. The asphalt felt warm, oddly, somehow reassuringly rough. On their own, my feet relax into the texture. Warmth is broken by fresh puddles. As I leave the asphalt at a nearby trail head my feet tell me that there was a great deal of rain. The dirt is soft, the leaves mushed up, and there are streamlets draining one level of the trail into another.

To cover more ground, I begin to run. The ground is both very giving and also very sassy. Mud punctuated by recently rinsed stones hidden beneath water. Liquid flows and gushes from leaf to leaf and touching a bush or odd branch rewards me with a startling shower. It rains in the forest but this storm comes from green clouds and is silent. My feet felt quite alive!

Deeper in the forest, more water covers the trails. Dams of frigid water coated by mats of needles soon stretch through all paths. I can’t run anymore. Too much splashing. Flooded ravines on previously hidden side canyons birth more water into my trail and a few dozen steps leads to an ankle deep world of rising water.

I walk and walk. The concept of running seems silly as I wade on through the forest. I can’t see the bottoms of the puddles and streams and sometimes step awkwardly on stone and root. The water is very brisk as my feet slowly slow down, crimping to save heat. Little rocks feel like big rock as the water and cold make them progressively tender. I pause and look down at them.

They stand under a foot of amber rainwater, framed by floating and flitting debris. The water seems so impossibly clear, but yet also vividly colored. I can only stare at my feet. I gaze up the trail, in love with the rainwater that took a boring section of trail, run a hundred times and made it transcendent.

Too soon, I leave the flooded section behind and make do with normal mud and leaf litter that follows a storm. Yet, my mind is still in that water, still submerged with my feet. Down among the rocks. Near the roots. Deep in a world that normally never exists.

And that’s why I hunt.


The following is a guest post by Dr. Spurven Ten Sing of Cassius University, who is mildly sorry for his previous outburst on a topic wholly unrelated to the project. He promises to only write relevant words in this space in the future and limit rants to his rant page, coming soon.

Greeting one and all!

With the conclusion of spring semester, I find that I have greater freedom to click links that go to places that have nothing to do with work. Often, those blue jumbles of internet directing symbols drops my browser in diverse climes. One site may entertain me for hours as I attempt to pop balloons in correct sequences, and the next will force me to grow digital crops in a social network farm of some sort. I freely confess, though, that my favorite places have some connection to politics or religion.

If life were a space wherein one does not examine and reexamine beliefs, life would be a vacuum of the soul. A life without passion is flat and dead. I posses strong opinions about politics and religion and often will seek out news stories or editorials that force me to react on a pre-neocortical level of my mind. I like that.

I admit that at times this diversion causes my near and/or dear to suffer. I have forced many a dinner party conversation onto the rocks of augmentative detour, several very cute women to doubt the sanity and social literacy of their date, and very lately, the focus of the project of the Caveman Diaries. I frequently regret my poor choice of venues for discussion, if not my words or rhetoric.

Ej is a close friend of mine and I am grateful to contribute to this blog. I see much wisdom in the words that he writes, the thoughts he explores, and of course in the unique outside perspective that can only be found in a non-modern human. I thank Ej for this all.

My new blog will feature commentary and will not be strictly on topic, but I am convinced there will be overlap. My passions may not be identical to those of Ej, but aren’t they based on the same human impulses? We shall certainly soon see! I will post a note here when I get the codes needed to begin the blog. Thanks.