Yesterday afternoon we went to the LA Zoo.
Firstly, let me say that historically I’m not a fan of “zoos”. Being a biologist gets me ridin’ that fence over the places. Yes, I can see the scientific value in the research opportunity there. Lots of good work to save species, learn from them, and help their lives have come from the money/facilities generated by zoos. Lots of jobs for scientists, researchers, anthropologists, archaeologists-you name the field-and laypeople. Don’t forget them. Lots of good jobs.
Personally, I think all creatures should be free. God made them (and us) that way for a reason. Yes, some are unfortunately in peril, endangered, and even extinct because of humankind and the toll we place on this planet. Even so, mindfulness and caring need to be the forefront of any interaction with the environment-to prevent the “zoo” from being the last refuge for any wild creature. You know what I’m saying? I know you understand. 🙂
For whatever reason, I really needed to see a tiger yesterday. This last week actually I was really called to visit the tiger. We eventually made it ’round and saw him. Glowing. Alert. Not fazed by the heat like the rest of the neighbors. I caught his gaze with the howitzer lens…and kept it for awhile. He didn’t move. Neither did I. Something was communicated there that felt like peace and recognition. I have no idea why I really had to go there, but I’m glad I did. Something in me was stilled by that presence. The silence surrounding the moment, even though a thousand people were passing all around me.
I also had a moment with this gorilla. He was minding his own business, back to the crowd. Lying on his side next to a small stream, he was busy eating ants alone. I was behind him and said to Robert-“They really must hate being watched all the time. Look, every one has its back to the crowds.” This particular gorilla heard me. He stopped, sat up and turned to look at me. His understanding captured in the shot. His eyes conveyed it all. He looked at me a long time. Telling me without a word or gesture, “Yeah. That part sucks.” Then he got up and walked away. Definitely a soul as intelligent as he is knows the value of freedom.On the other hand, moments like this are so beautiful-I’m glad people have a chance to see them in person. Yes, chimpanzees are loving families and this would happen in the wild most definitely. Would we be witness to it? Probably not at that exact second. I love this shot. The importance of sharing and taking the time to touch someone you love,transcends all boundaries.
I’m feeling restored and better in the catharsis of these shots and the experience of the day. Peaceful. Driven to experience more in my life. Appreciative of all the blessings I have already received and those over the radar coming this way. I hope they’ve helped you to feel that same inspiration and motivation this beautiful Saturday night, my wonderful friend. I love you!