Dodging the moose


A Norwegian driver who swerved to avoid a moose hit a bear instead. The motorist spotted the moose near Hanestad village in Rendalen, north of Oslo, at about midnight on Wednesday, and tried to go around the animal, not realising a bear was nearby.

I have this newspaper cutting pinned on the wall in front of me. It’s been there for some time (it is from the Guardian of 17th August 2012). It intrigues me, and recently it has been on my mind a lot.

The story goes on:

“The driver had lost a bit of speed as he tried to avoid the moose before hitting the bear,” said Svein-Erik Bjorke of the local wildlife authority. “We are tracking the bear and we have found traces of blood.”

The motorist escaped uninjured, although his car sustained some damage. The fate of the bear is unknown. It was obviously able to slip away into the woods, but those traces of blood don’t sound good.

The state of the moose is unrecorded. Presumably rather smug.

Why does this story stick in my mind? I think it’s because of what is currently going on in my life. After more than two decades I am about to leave a job I love and enjoy. I don’t have to leave, and it is tempting to stay. But I know it is time to strike out in a new direction.

Naturally I feel a mixture of emotion. I wonder if I am doing the right thing. But the tired old metaphor about frying pans and fires doesn’t truly apply, because things aren’t that bad right now, and they may not be worse after I leave. I don’t know exactly what I will do in the future, I just know it will be different. Maybe better, but I can’t guarantee that right now.

So why leave? Sometimes in life you just have to take a swerve, whatever the consequences. You need to change direction. It almost doesn’t matter whether the new direction works or not. You can’t carry on with the old one.


Think of that Norwegian driver. He’s tooling along when he sees the moose in his headlights. He has the time and the presence of mind to steer around it, but bugger me there’s a bear in the way as well. But what could he do? If he had known the bear was there, would he have done anything different? Of course he wouldn’t.

Most of us would probably prefer to collide with a moose than a bear.  But it isn’t a choice you can realistically make. You can’t deliberately drive into a moose, whatever the alternative. You have to swerve to miss it and damn the consequences.

Even if you fear a bear may lurk behind it. Even if you know a bear is there. You have to avoid that moose.

So that’s why ‘dodging the moose’ feels an apt metaphor for what I am doing with my life. I am at a point in the road where I have to steer away from the moose that is my former career. It’s something I simply have to do.

Obviously I hope there is an open road beyond it. But even if there isn’t, I’m dodging that moose.

Let’s hope there are no bears.



Filed under Life, Progress

2 responses to “Dodging the moose

  1. Neil Grant

    Great piece. Having recently moved across the country and committed to a new work challenge myself, I’m hoping to avoid ursine (or any other) threats too. But is stagnation ever an option for an enquiring, restless mind? I think not.

  2. Pingback: A Cork on a Labour Tide | Chris Barnham - The View From SE13

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