The photo challenge for this week invites us to share a photo that captures an entire story in a single frame. Here is my interpretation.
And what is the story? Is it merely a story of kids going to the zoo? Does the story that you see here have something to say about animals, including the human animal? Something about conservation? Something about family entertainment? Something about cages and behavior? Something about connecting to other life forms? Something about curiosity? Whose curiosity — the child’s or the lion’s?
I always have mixed feelings, some very strong, that arise when I visit a zoo. Sadness. Respect. Appreciation. Embarrassment. Regret. Awe. The story is pretty complex, and there are many characters. When we get caught up in our own narrative and forget that there is more than one, we limit our compassion, our awareness.
It’s interesting to overhear what mothers and teachers tell their children about the animals behind the glass. “Oh, look. There’s the Daddy lion and the Mommy lion and they’re doing _______!” Are you sure that’s what they are and what they’re doing? Have you projected your own story onto them? Do you often do that and teach your children to do that? What might you learn if you tried to look at their behavior through unbiased eyes?
You see, this story gets pretty complicated. It’s worth looking into.