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“You must change your life”

“You must change your life”
echoed inside my head
as I dug the oddly fragrant roots,
finding my way through rocks and
chunks of decaying, pine-needle humus.
The strange T-square shape where the
rhizome and the aerial shoot join
held me in its abrupt right angles—
I paused and watched cloud-white
blood ooze from its wounds, toxic as it was
it seemed nourishing, friendly.

The allure of the wild is
the upwelling, bubbling soul
inside us aching outwards;
each animal and rock and tree
a fragment of our selves lost
and discovered freshly in the
reflective mind of the observing one.

We are whole
in our ability to take in;
the vessel of our wondering
to accept the staggering nuance
of the crow-bitten universe.

Coyote’s howl is at once
alarming and beckoning;
some part of us needs
to shout at the moon
in a frenzy of yipping laughter
and eat amongst a ravenous
hoard of fur and teeth.

To be alive
is to chase the wild redeemer.

posted by Jashua Paquette 
Joshua Paquette's photo.

Why People Keep Taking Deadly Selfies With Animals

Experts say a desire to be close to nature overwhelms our understanding of safe behavior—leading to the death of people and wildlife.

(Photo: Instagram)
Jun 23, 2016
John R. Platt covers the environment, technology, philanthropy, and more for Scientific American, Conservation, Lion, and other publications.

The photos, or the stories behind them, are horrifying.

Last week a group of lifeguards and tourists in the Dominican Republic pulled a shark from the water and posed for photos with it until it died.

It was just the latest in a disturbing new trend of people trying to take selfies with a wide variety of wildlife, ranging from seals and swans to elk and even lions.

Sometimes, as in the case of the shark, the animals die as a result of these interactions. Other times people put themselves at risk. Last month a Chinese man died while trying to take a selfie with a walrus at a zoo. A year ago—long before the infamous case where tourists put a bison calf in their car—a visitor to Yellowstone National Park was gored and tossed into the air by an adult bison while she tried to pose for a photo just six yards away from the massive animal.

What drives this risky behavior?

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