Sunday, March 18, 2012

Where are we in the Zoo?

We went to the Zoo on Saturday with Abby. That is always a fun day. She loves the animals, the people and even the trip in the car. This is our second trip to the zoo. This time we are going to see the African animals.

The incident that stood out to me in our time was not the elephants that Abby really wanted to see and they of course were at the extreme end of the zoo. Or the giraffes that seemed more stately and regal in all their movements from the last time I had seem their kind. Have you ever noticed how each step and movement seems as if it is slow motion? There is a grace there…maybe just because they have a long way to fall if they stumble. I am sure I would try for more gracefulness if I had 19 feet to the ground.

The incident that stood out to me was all about a map. We were just starting out and getting our bearings for where we wanted to go. Abby wanted a copy of the map. She was looking at it and talking to herself and to us almost in a side conversation kind of way of the places that she would like to visit. Except that she had the map upside down. Now, I know that she can’t read yet so those finer points are not meant for humor. But it reminded me of my own stuff…so many times so adamant about where I need to end up and yet do I have the map upside down? Sometimes it is the simplest things that can bring us to places where we never intended…like having the map upside down. Then south becomes north…bad becomes good and all kinds of things invert that would have never been the case had we had the map right side up.

It seems to me as if our culture, even our world that holds the Western culture’s imprint on it, has its map upside down…quietly and confidently talking to ourselves all the time on where we are headed. More is always better, faster is always wiser…standardization is always the way to go. Yet we miss the local, the intimate, the personal…some of the essences of what makes us human along the way. Watching children always puts me in a reflective mood...Maybe all world leaders should spend the day at the zoo with their children, or grandchildren?

Today it is heading home day…up highway 95 to almost NYC and then NJ Turnpike. Good thing we have GPS, at least that is one place I don’t have to think about the map being upside down. Somehow, I think I will remember Abbey while I am listening to GPS tell me where to go.  Today I will turn the sound on it when we get close to NYC.

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