“Suck the meat off bones.”
Colorful panels cover an exterior wall of Bethel Regional High School. Obviously created by students, they seem to be answering some question that was posed to them. Responses vary, ranging from poetic:
“Hope will come, and we will be waiting,” and “Call the sun beautiful”
…to concrete and honest: “Passing my classes,” “Basketball is the most beautiful sport of all,” and “I don’t know.”
One in particular stood out to Cheri and I:
The word pukuk comes from Yupik, the language of the Yup’ik Eskimos that inhabit the region.
While the Yup’ik have long relied upon subsistence hunting to survive, the message of this colorful panel is so much more profound than that.
This student’s point is that the Yup’ik people get the very most of life, that it’s a part of their culture. It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately… I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…”
The message from both quotes? It’s simple. We should live life to the fullest.
We should all pose these questions to ourselves:
Are we sucking the marrow out of life?
Are we sucking the meat off of the bones?