Kink hopped up on my lap, circled around a couple of times, clunked down and kneaded me in the thigh with his claws. I remained motionless throughout all this so as not to get even more damaged. I winced slightly as the claws dug through my jeans.
“So, how’s the book going,” Kink asked, licking his paw and wiping his ear.
“Not bad,” I replied rubbing my leg, “not bad. It’s out there, you know, and the public will make up their own mind. We did our best and I think it was a good effort.”
Kink pondered this for a few minutes, then looked up at me with his liquid yellow eyes, whiskers thrust forward indicating curiosity, and said, “How do you know you hit the mark? I mean, you took a shot but what were you aiming at? How do you know you scored points on the target?”
I thought about Kink’s conjecture. Given no target how does one know one hit the mark? What points were to be scored? In other words, given a subject how does one know one addressed the subject satisfactorily? Where were the scores posted?
Kink and I sat there for quite a while as I puzzled out his puzzle. Kink purred as I grew more agitated.
Finally, I spoke.
“Well, I’ll take it on faith that I hit the mark. Considering your analogy a bit farther it’s like being a blind archer. You’re given the distance to the target and perhaps someone tells you a little bit higher, or a little bit lower or left or right, but in the end you’re blind and you have to let the arrow fly. Perhaps it hits the target, perhaps not.”
Kink licked his tail then scrunched down in my lap. “So, you mean it’s just random chance? Luck of the draw? Que sera sera? Ready, fire, aim?”
I reached down and scratched Kink behind the ears. He closed his eyes and arched is back. “No,” I replied, “not random chance. I am guided by the words and actions of others. I rely upon my experience, the experience of others and guidance. I can hit the mark if I use all that I know and all that is known. We learn, we move along, we get better at what we do. They say you have to become One with the Bow. Whatever that means.”
Kink yawned, stretched his paws out and gripped my thigh with his claws. He said, “So how do you know you’ve hit the target?”
I didn’t answer for a while by which time Kink fell to sleep, his breathing becoming regular, interrupted by the occasional twitch.
“How do we know, my little friend,” I whispered to the sleeping Kink, “we don’t, exactly. We do our best, we set the arrow in motion and we hope that it goes roughly in the direction of our aim. If it doesn’t, well, we aren’t in control of the arrow, we’re only in control of the bow.”
Kink rolled on to his back, stretched his body to full length and let out a long sigh.