Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We Pick Up Snakes

We pick up snakes.
It looks easy but not everyone can pick up snakes (though everyone tries). Some people shouldn’t! They are not ready. Some people should but don’t.
I like to pick up the ones with some spirit, with a little fight in them. It is more satisfying to pick up the snakes that aren’t so easy. I’ve seen others pick them up. I’ve seen them all get bit. They just don’t seem to know what they are doing! I’ve watched and learned.
Don’t grab them just anywhere! You don’t pinch them, you don’t sneak up on them, and you don’t scare them. You have to be gentle but firm! It’s not all just about technique either. Picking up a snake takes patience and finesse.
Also you have to understand every snake is different! You can’t pick one snake up the same as another. Some snakes you approach from the left, others from the right. Some snakes you have to approach head-on! You never, however, sneak up behind a snake. That never works.
You have to watch the snake for a while, find out what makes it tick. Get to know the snake and let the snake get to know you. You have to spend time with the snake and earn its trust. You have to be sincere. The snake can detect insincerity. The snake can also sense your fear. You have to be strong, brave and, above all else, constant.
Then, when the time is right and the snake is in just right position, and the wind trickles down to a slight breeze, and the sun is to your back, you bend your knees, reach down and slowly, deliberately, and with great conviction and the best of intentions, you scoop up the snake.
And it never fails, every time I pick up a snake, I get bit.
We pick up snakes, but we don’t seem to be very good at it. We don’t seem to ever learn. You just have to understand that it’s not about avoiding the bite, because some bites you can’t avoid. It is about knowing how to heal. It is about being hurt by the snake’s bite and not hurting the snake in the process.
Why do we pick up snakes? Because when we were snakes, someone picked us up.

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