Stormclouds over Boston

As I’m writing this, out my window stormclouds are gathering above the buildings of Boston. I’m letting the muted sunlight in through my window and thinking about the seals.

In the aquarium, by the sea, there are seals in an outside tank. You can see them without paying admittance to the aquarium. They swim lazy circuits around the tank, or hover with their noses above water. I wonder how they feel, when it rains. Does their tank start to feel like freshwater? Do they thrive for the cold droplets on their sun-baked skin? Do they think about how their water is being hit with the same rain as the ocean, and wish they could swim along the falling raindrops back out to sea?

I have conflicting views about animals, which would be impossible to get into fully now in just one post, and too heavy and political for me to deal with now, with the skies getting darker and no one around. But I think a lot about how animals feel, and not just captured animals. Wild animals. Somewhere out there, at least I hope, there is a whale that has never seen a human, or cared about what lay above the surface beyond air for its lungs. It is only bothered by whale business. Its family, food, singing, swimming. And I’m jealous.

Who am I, with my computer and limitless knowledge, my easy, fulfilling three meals a day? Who am I to be jealous of something that has to work for each meal? I may just be romanticizing. But I can’t picture anything more peaceful than being an animal.

The biggest argument against this is how dangerous animals have it. Turn your back and you’ll be eaten by a lion. Hunted by a human. You lose a meal and you lose your life. Sure, it’s dangerous. But then look at humans. Plagued by dangers we made up ourselves because we ran out of natural dangers. Our lives run by the imaginary idea of money. Separate from Earth. Without food to worry about we create other dangers. Worse dangers.

It seems it would be so peaceful to be a whale, or a snake, or a bird. At least then, life would make sense. Life would feel like being alive.

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