Damian Aspinall’s Gorilla Encounter: In a language beyond words, transcending differences and the limits of time

A story rich with elements of myth: A man raises a baby gorilla then releases him into the wild. He returns to the jungle five years later to search for his gorilla-friend. A wise woman warns him: the gorilla is big now and has attacked twice—you may not be safe. Be careful.

With his human brother, the man travels up and down a wide river coursing through the jungle, calling to his old friend, his gorilla-brother. Suddenly, out of the dense foliage steps a stunning gorilla. The two share a greeting ritual. The gorilla looks deep into the man’s eyes and holds the man as if he never wants to let go. They communicate in a language older, more complete and meaningful than words.

The time to separate arrives. The two hearts seem to beat as one, their bond transcending their differences, untouched by the limits of time.

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For absolutely nothing but joy.

Joyful dog with tennis ball. Photo: http://travelerofcharleston.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/dog-at-beach.jpg

Try this: Spend time with a dog and a ball at the beach for “absolutely nothing but joy.”

The Dogs at Live Oak Beach, Santa Cruz

By Alicia Ostriker

As if there could be a world
Of absolute innocence
In which we forget ourselves

The owners throw sticks
And half-bald tennis balls
Toward the surf
And the happy dogs leap after them
As if catapulted—

Black dogs, tan dogs,
Tubes of glorious muscle—

Pursuing pleasure
More than obedience
They race, skid to a halt in the wet sand,
Sometimes they’ll plunge straight into
The foaming breakers

Like diving birds, letting the green turbulence
Toss them, until they snap and sink

Teeth into floating wood
Then bound back to their owners
Shining wet, with passionate speed
For nothing,
For absolutely nothing but joy.

Tyger Tyger burning bright / in the forests of the night

Since hearing in July about five Indonesian men trapped in a tree by four Sumatran tigers, Blake’s poem, “The Tyger” has haunted me. According to a BBC News article, the Sumatran tigers were drawn to the site because the men inadvertently killed one of their cubs. As few as 350 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild, according to the article.

I can imagine their fierce eyes afire as they circled the tree for days in grief and fury, perhaps building up a righteous appetite in the process. The men were eventually rescued after being treed for five days.

Sumatran tiger from http://www.businessinsider.com/indonesian-men-trapped-in-tree-by-tigers-2013-7

Sumatran tiger eyes burning bright.

The Tyger
by William Blake

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

…Of how we ought / To let life go on where / And when it can.

Please stop for turtles on the road, any road, every road. Help them to cross in the direction they were headed. More tips to help turtles here: http://www.ontarioturtlesave.com/ontario-turtle-save-blog.html

Please stop for turtles on the road, any road, every road. Help them to cross in the direction they were headed. More tips to help turtles here: http://www.ontarioturtlesave.com/ontario-turtle-save-blog.html

An Interruption

by Robert S. Foote

A boy had stopped his car
To save a turtle in the road;
I was not far
Behind, and slowed,
And stopped to watch as he began
To shoo it off into the undergrowth—

This wild reminder of an ancient past,
Lumbering to some Late Triassic bog,
Till it was just a rustle in the grass,
Till it was gone.

I hope I told him with a look
As I passed by,
How I was glad he’d stopped me there,
And what I felt for both
Of them, something I took
To be a kind of love,
And of a troubled thought
I had, for man,
Of how we ought
To let life go on where
And when it can.

“An Interruption” by Robert S. Foote.