Until recently I had not given archery much thought. The only image I had was of Kevin as a young blue-eyed boy – and as most young boys interested in danger and destruction – playing chicken, the archery version. A game where you direct your bow straight into the air and whoever stares up into its trajectory the longest is the winner – or is impaled. If you like doing dangerous things you probably know what I am talking about. I, on the other would shudder when I would ask Kevin to tell me about his childhood games.
Even (as shown in these photos) is an instructor at Trackers, an admirable organization that teaches kids how to do compelling and adventurous things like track animals in the forest, throw knives (and tomahawks!) and shoot at things with bow and arrows. It was through Even’s stories of summer camp and Kevin’s nostalgic love of shooting at things that I felt inspired this week to go with Even and buy Kevin a bow and then test it out for myself. And after I read that archery has about as much injuries as bowling and less injuries than golfing a year, I was game.
Venture into the hills of Oakland and you will find an archery range called the Redwood Bowmen’s Archery Club. This is really manly, yet graceful stuff here. Surrounded by redwoods, sexy bowmen, and an archery trail that sports targets of shapely moose, how could it not be perfect.
Archery in its former life began in the Paleolithic/Mesolithic era. First came the atlatl (an ancient spear thrown contraption that everyone should read about) and then the subsequent evolution and reign of the bow and arrow. An inherent object of grace and style, manly, while also integrating into itself a certain finesse and grace. In my mind is the most metro sexual of all the killing machines.
One must only thing of bows and arrows to conjure up images of Greek mythology – feminine, naked men scampering through the forest killing young bucks or other mythological figures. And then of course there is Cupid, the naked baby. The scenes and poetic themes around Cupid and arrows are romantic in their references and as oft used to have been killed by Hallmark in a bloody death of repetition and holidays.
Cupid was know to carry two arrows. One was golden tipped and filled the victim with uncontrollable desire and the other with a tip of lead which led to aversions and desire to leave. Not often told there is also a story of Cupid as a honey thief (Even as beekeeper.)