I want to write.
There is much change filtering through the waters of late January, and I find myself at odds with the urge to name, record, describe. The feeling is that if I narrow my focus I will miss something crucial on the periphery of my vision. Because of this, my urge to articulate today feels like swimming through murky water at a vague shiny thing.
Nevertheless, I want to write. So I’ll tell about Zoo.
For the first time ever in years of paying close attention there it was the fish who seemed to notice and respond.
I was conscious of the differences between us- the slow grace of his movement through water, me heavy and percussive in the greater gravity of air. The sheer size and odd shape of him had me fascinated, which must have been mutual – he approached me the way one does a timid creature, cautiously and sideways, until we were mere inches apart. I could have stayed there for an hour, talking.
We walked the Zoo for five hours, witnessing the multi-species there, connected by the collection of themselves, busy with being where and who they are, sentient. As we progressed I found myself meditating most on Human Nature. We are unique in this rich cultural place; we so desperately need to name, classify, study. We need to collect specimens of ‘not-us’ and display them.
As visitors, we bang on the glass and yell our demand to be entertained if nothing moves on the other side. How utterly embarrasing, that behavour. Why? Good God, why?
I loved the visit – was overjoyed to play with the Canadian river otter, met eye-to eye with some primates like this baboon and a teenage gorilla that I shall never forget.
But always, at the zoo, I am conflicted by the fact- of zoo.