Grizzled and grey, Tribus is the oldest thought in the pack of nine. He mostly sleeps nowadays, content to show himself in social settings on rare occasions, and never one for show. But he is not tame. Pressed into a corner, he is pound for pound still the toughest animal in the pack. Over time, as Tribus has gotten weaker, the tribe has weakened too.
Vox is beautiful and varied. He is constantly telling his story––through the written Word, the material world, nocturnal dreams, circumstances both ordinary and extraordinary, the marketplace, saints and sinners, and the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit. Vox cannot be silenced, though it is quite common for men and women not to hear him.
Vomica is a curse as her name suggests. Arguably the oldest predictor of societal behavior, Vomica devours lives while pretending to nourish them. Those who fall under her spell are innumerable. They are CEOs and auto mechanics, housewives and heads of state. Not one walk of life exists that hasn't been ravished by Vomica. Her appetite is endless. And though she is part of the pack, she lives on the edge of it.
Humus is quiet but powerful. When I was young, I thought of Humus as someone I'd associate with when I got older. Looking back, I wish I had respected him years ago. Behind all significant achievements, you will find Humus, sometimes so silent he is virtually invisible. Nevertheless, the greatest people who ever lived were full of Humus. One can almost smell his presence––rich, loamy, laden with the fruit of the earth. Were it not for Humus, I sometimes wonder if the pack might tear itself to pieces.
Bonos is not as young as he looks. I can only imagine it is the restorative nature of kindness that keeps Bonos young. He is a constant blessing to the pack, completely void of ire and guile. There was a time when I thought his kindness was all a show, a sort of gilded veneer with no substance to it. The very next day, however, I saw him chase down a caribou, flank the poor creature with one snap of his jaws, and drag the still-wriggling carcass to the den of an aging wolf who couldn't fend for herself. I will never again think of kindness as weak.
In a way, Pasco keeps all other thoughts in check. And this is a good thing, since Man by nature has been been gorging himself on knowledge from the beginning. Left to myself, I'd be a swollen body of worthless minutia. Because of Pasco, however, I have a constant reminder that the capacity of my mind exceeds the capacity of my heart. "Slow down, boy," I hear him whispering often, "Take in only what you need. Chew it. Grind it. Break it down into useful chunks. Only when it is finally down deep in your stomach, should you go on the hunt again." Dear God, I am a foolish huntsman. Thank you for sending Pasco to watch over me.
Veritas and Bonos are inseparable, though they don't always seem to be friends. Once, (back when I was working for an exceptionally unkind employer), I watched Bonos grab hold of Veritas by the muzzle and refuse to let go until Veritas submitted. But on another occasion, I saw Veritas back Bonos into a corner and hold him there until Bonos dropped the bone he was intending to give to a poor coyote who lived with her pups under an abandoned trailer.
Proviso is the younger brother of Humus. Sometimes, I can't even tell them apart. He is cruel, but vital to the well-being of the pack. If it were not for Proviso, I believe the pack would die come the first really cold winter. He's a negative fellow by nature, prone not only to see the glass half-empty... but bone dry, as well. He once looked me right in the eye and, with that wordless stare of his, said, "You're a decent writer, Will, but keep your day job."
And finally, there is Sanctus. As I mentioned in the introduction to this blog, He is different than all the other thoughts. I have never actually seen Him before, but the signs of Him are everywhere. One thing is for sure, Sanctus is good. And for some strange reason, I am quite certain He would never do me harm.