The act itself is simple enough, anyone can pull back a string and let go. But it is oftentimes the simple things in our lives that give us the greatest pleasure. There’s no better feeling than standing with a bow in my hands and taking aim at anything. It is almost as if another world waits for me beyond the draw and once I have that string pulled back this world slips away, melts into something that exists around but not within me. I have achieved what the Buddhist monks would call complete consciousness, where I am free of worldly cares and possessions. Nothing moves in my peripheral as I take aim at the target. There are droves of people behind me and all around me and I can feel them there, but I do not see them and I do not hear them. I can feel every breath I take as I have never felt a breath before, the air is cool as it reaches my lungs and I hold it there for a moment as it grows warm inside me and upon its release I can feel the warmth sweep through my nostrils and over my fingertips which are white with the pain against the stress of the string, but this isn’t a terrible pain, instead it is a welcome one. The type of pain that reminds us of pain and pleasure and to take them together as one entity, one that cannot exist without the other and knowing that the ecstasy of release is imminent. My only thoughts lie on the task at hand, I have for the first time ever found total control of my body “Your left arm is shaking, stop it.” And it stops. “You must stand straighter” and I do. Upon the release I feel the force of the vibration through the string and the energy exerted upon the arrow and I can stand for just a second and feel absolutely at ease with the world. And then snap back to reality upon hearing the most glorious sound of arrow tearing paper.