I am on the move, looking. That alone tells you that contentment is a fleeting animal. Shy. Feral. Without the kind of education that looks for a long-term plan, investment in futures, nor does contentment takes stock of resources, commodities, or trends.
The creature called contentment hides by necessity; we stalk it too greedily. Perhaps it will come out in the dusk to look curiously upon us, to see if our rapacity has been sated enough to make the gloaming a place where the eyes can be blinked in safety from afar.
The eyes of contentment are large to an almost absurd degree, taking up the whole face, and even wrapping around the edge of the skull a bit. There is almost no distance between the two eyes at the bridge of the nose. These eyes are soft; almost in a liquid state, and blink often to keep the softness and the liquidity from gathering too much from the harsh air.
The ears of contentment are large, soft, fleshy, with soft mottled pink and brown skin, a pad of fine hairs carpeting the cavity where understanding of all vibration retreats and gathers more intelligences about this baffling world where contentment itself is hunted for capture.
The nostrils of contentment, within the soft also mottled button nose, also are large, and full of filaments of white sensing hairs, that seem to touch the air, as well as smell it. The nose wrinkles often, both to admit and to reject smells both familiar and novel.
The tongue of contentment is long and thin, and has thousands of tiny protuberant taste buds, appearing to reach out to all the world when visible, as if to savor the very air itself. But the tongue is rarely visible. It dashes out in almost invisible thrusts when times seem propitious, when the air seems sweet, languorous, when no beings hunting contentment seem to be nearby.
The fingers of contentment, much like lemur, are a bit like toes, and like a lemur, the toes are like fingers. Both end sets of appendages have both functions in order best to meet the world or flee it. Like a human, the fingers and toes of contentment are full of touch, sending so many subtle and gross signals through the central nervous system that contentment needs a very large brain to sort the signals into meaningful and satisfactory and well-structured cognitive resolutions. Much of the world that can’t be topically pacified, must be relegated to the safety of story structures that present complications, but end in fix resolutions into the mother of all matrices, the story-womb called safety.
We are best off not trying to approach the creature called contentment. We ourselves would be closer to knowing what to be the creature of contentment is, in and of itself, by simply doing as contentment does: it watches, it listens, it smells, it keeps a proper distance from those that seem to want too much.
Contentment, by nature, takes in a lot, and therefore has much to protect itself against. There is much in the environment that is far too strong in its harshness for contentment to abide by. The nature of contentment is to be nourished by senses alone, but the paradox is that contentment is unusually vulnerable to the threats and toxins within the environment of the wild and wanton world.
Allowing contentment to roam away from us freely has its hazards as well; we suspect it is an endangered species. There is a lot of habitat loss. Perforations in the reproductive cycle. And, of course, the entire ravenous human race as predators of contentment’s exotic essence.
Perhaps we could give up our poaching. Whether the future of contentment will be more like that of the buffalo, or the Passenger Pigeon remains unknown. But in either case, we’ll feel more contentment if we let contentment be. Willing to let contentment go, so that it can find the home that suits it best, even if, it is not boxed in the television in our own house. Even if, Sir David Attenborough himself can’t find an extant individual.
Meanwhile, we might meditate on how we could best preserve any remaining habitat for contentment and all its cousin species: acceptance, restraint, grief, patience, humility, simplicity, and generosity. And of course, more related species yet undiscovered, those that are yet mysteries of the wild.
If we find these inner habitats, we are by necessity no longer crashing through the habitats outside of ourselves. That is of the greatest import. With less hunting and stalking, with more habitats preserved, there may be yet room for one of the most endangered species of all: hope.