I don’t hunt.

I have hunted before.

I killed a deer when I was in seventh grade, but that was the only time. However, I have been told an unusually large number of hunting stories. People in Mississippi assume that if you are fat and have a beard that you hunt. I fit both of these qualifications, so I must endure more hunting stories than the average person.

Camouflage has always made me curious. Between the intricate and well-designed matchings of the natural surroundings contrasted with the bright, bold look of “hunter’s orange”, I have often wondered how important the camouflage is to the animal versus the human hunting it. Is it really that important?

It seems to me that we are all sporting some degree of camouflage caught somewhere between “deep forest” and “hunter’s orange”. I think that we use it to feel hidden, insignificant, or anonymous, but I don’t think it really has much effect on the people around us.

Our dog Charlie likes to hide under the table when he feels afraid. I think he believes that if he cannot see us, then we cannot see him. At the first loud noise or notion of being left behind, Charlie will go under the table and just stand there with the ridge of the table blocking his vision, therefore he believes himself to be shielded from the rest of the world.

Charlie’s version of camouflage doesn’t work and it isn’t necessary. Most of the time, people aren’t paying attention to Charlie, and if they were paying attention to him, they know exactly where to find him. There is no sense in hiding. He might as well be proudly seen. His camouflage is bunk and worthless.

My aunt is one of the finest artists I have ever seen. Laura is the first person whose work has made me to understand what it looks like to have “depth and dimension” in a painting. Her talent allows you to actually “explore” what is going on across a page. She can verbalize a story without using words while creating a three-dimensional piece on a flat sheet of paper. She is talented, she is skilled, and she is gifted.

She dresses herself in the word “amateur” and believes it is camouflage. She thinks that if she refers to her work as being on an amateur level that it will make her exempt from being an artist, a professional, a person whose work is envied and worthy of praise. The truth is, though, that she is like Charlie hiding under the table. She is wearing hunter’s orange. Her work speaks for itself and it doesn’t require a label. The word artist or amateur has no level of distinction when it provides you with an emotion.

What the hunter believes the animal to think about his outfit is of little concern to the elephant. The deer, the tiger, the antelope, and the duck have their own way of thinking, which is independent of the hunter; brought about by years of personal experience. If the animal is cautious enough it can most-likely use all of its instincts to identify the hunter, but it is usually distracted by its own agenda and trying to satisfy its own wants and needs.

My point is this, if you have a gift, then give it. Allow people to experience it. Put it out there in front of as many people as you can. Those who don’t appreciate it have plenty of other options and plenty of prey to hunt, but those who might enjoy it deserve to see what you have to offer.

What you produce, what you have to offer, and what you put out there will be seen somewhere between the camouflage of the deepest forest or the brightest orange of the hunter’s vest, but it needs to be exposed. Let others decide for themselves whether to let it blend into the background or stand out and shine. Just don’t try to hide it.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,