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    Smilodon (part 1)

           Smilodon. Sometimes, though incorrectly, referred to as the “Saber Tooth Tiger” (incorrectly because, although it was a large saber toothed cat, it was not a tiger). My favorite prehistoric mammal of all time. Not just because it was one bad ass MoFo. This devil is truly in the details.
           The process of examining, analyzing, and understanding why we are powerfully drawn to something can be a worthy pursuit. Understanding our attraction to something, or somebody, is ultimately a process of self discovery. We can use this opportunity to know ourselves better. Like a mirror, such knowledge reveals facets of ourselves that may lie below our surface. We can usually superficially explain why we’re attracted to something, or somebody, but if we have the motivation to dig deeper, we not only embark on a journey of self knowledge, but we often surprise ourselves with what we discover.    
           Since I’ve loved the Saber Tooth Cat since I was a little kid, I wanted to know more about the animal when I got older. What I found out not only made me love the beast even more, but, again like a mirror, reflected pieces of myself back to me. It evolved into far more than just boyhood fascination. The more I discovered about what this animal was, and how it lived, the more that information drew me in and inspired a deeper connection. The more I found out about Smilodon, the more I identified with the animal. Sort of like those cases when the more you get to know someone, the more you grow to like them. Or love them.  
           Smilodon was robust (6 1/2 feet long, weighing about 700 pounds). That’s pretty massive compared to modern day big cats, but compared to it’s contemporaries, it was not a gigantic carnivore. It was, however, one powerful son of a bitch; very muscular and supremely well built. Well right off the bat, I can relate to the animal physically. Because that’s how I aspire to keep my physical vessel, and I’m an average size man.
           It was not an endurance hunter, but the fast and furious kind, possessing explosive speed and power. Once again, I can relate. I’m a drummer. We tend to be explosive. I was a sprinter in high school, and, even though I’m a runner, I’m not a distance machine. I’m built for shorter races, not marathons.
           The big cat would stalk it’s prey methodically, putting itself in the best position to strike quickly in an ambush. Now, I don’t consider myself particularly stealth. With anything. In most cases, you can see me coming a mile away. But I have the capacity to be quite methodical. I adore studying strategy. And I actually appreciate subtlety and nuance very much. I’m very intrigued by people who possess those qualities and use them with aplomb.
           Moreover, in my approach to life, you will discover a fair degree of nuance to it. Sometimes, however, those nuances fall so far outside the lines that they appear anything but nuances. They in fact may appear outrageous. You could say I’m one big Outrageous Nuance. Kind of like Smilodon. Get to know us. We’ll surprise the hell out of you.
           I’m fascinated by subtlety, and know that in some cases it serves me to cultivate it. It just isn’t my natural style. I have to work at it. But I very much appreciate the quality, and I respect people who display it.
           More than a few times, I’ve heard that, between the way I dress, my physique, my overall appearance, and first impressions from a relative distance……well let’s just say that people don’t always expect me to be intelligent, articulate, deep, gentle, friendly, and warm.  
           In part two, I’ll dig even deeper into this. Between now and then, maybe you’ll start asking yourself about your own fascinations. Maybe you’ll be inspired to examine something you are drawn to, and what it might say about you. Then you’d be on this ride with me. And that’s more rewarding than doing it alone.  

    ©2014 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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