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Chapter 1. Prologue
An Entry. Maskat's Journal - 2010. He is 38 years old.
“ I stared into its determined eyes, and it stared right back at me. There it stood, resiliently in my path, with horns glistening and nose fuming. Its ears twisted slowly, as though they were sonars trying to locate where I stood, and how to best annihilate me. I had never seen a bull before, but here I was in a western standoff with the 2000-pound beast. It stood broadly, making itself as wide as possible with its shoulders arched and head low to the ground.
An attack felt imminent, and there was nowhere to go. I had three options: Runaway, Run into it or jump off the edge of the cliff. I knew I should have stayed in bed that day. My instinct and years of army training shouted: “Attack! Surprise the beast and show him who is the king of the cliff.” Another part of me desperately retorted: “Shut up you ego-driven maniac! You’re going to kill us all! Just run away Maskat!”. The voices quickly clouded my brain and I had a split second to regain control over my own Kingdom.
A long deep breath seemed to stop time and silence all the voices and opinions within. I got a whiff of the deep pungy smell of decaying redwood trees below us. That’s when I finally met myself. I locked eyes with the bull once again. It was fiercely stomping and grunting. The more I looked the louder the grunting got. I raised my hands making myself as large as humanely possible and started screaming and grunting back. I carefully matched its pitch and loudness, never screaming louder than it was grunting.
We were very quickly becoming mirrors of each other. I completely lost touch of all reason and thoughts and was locked down in this reality where only physical gestures and aggressive projections existed.
What happened next was miraculous.
“I am just like you.” I found myself blurting out loudly, still holding my position and ground. The aggressive cattle grunted as though dismissing my gesture for connection.
“I don’t know what you are going through, but I am angry as well,” I said in a slightly softer voice. “I respect you but I don’t want anyone stopping me in my path either”. It stomped a couple of more times with a much more graceful demeanor.
I took a step back. It stood still. I took another step back. It looked carefully but its ears twirled away from me as though predicting its next move. I took the third step and the bull looked away and went back up the path.
I will never know whether it was my loving words or tough demeanor that saved me.
Part of me feels like a coward for not continuing the hike, another feels bad about putting myself in such a precarious situation and a third part thinks it’s so cool to be able to tell that story.
I now realize that they are each trying to protect me, and within that realization, I find my purpose: To keep the kingdom safe from all the shame that these voices carry within.”