I just wrote a short response to a work called "The Defense of Poesy" by Philip Sidney. He begins with an anecdote about a horseman who so elegantly describes the importance of horsemen, and then of horses that Sidney claims "I think he would have persuaded me to have wished myself a horse." Sidney's "Defense" claims that all of the best writing is covered in poetry, and that is what makes it best, and that is why poetry is so important.
I'm a fan of poetry, so I agree, but that's not the point.
I'm unflinchingly passionate about the things I'm passionate about. This is almost a shameful thing to admit, but last week during my interview with the Audubon Aquarium they asked me why I should be the one to get the internship, over everyone else. I almost (did) teared up when I said "Because I know I want it more than anyone else you're going to talk to. This is the thing I want to do with my life." I had to take a deep breath when I heard my voice get the first crack in it.
But that's what it's supposed to be about. It's supposed to be about passion. I can go on forever about animals, about animal care, animal behavior. It's exciting. It's amazing. It's beautiful. It's poetic. I've gone onto a roof to watch a hawk eat a squirrel, I've sat on the sidewalk to watch crows dodge cars and eat a dead squirrel, I've lain down on the floor to watch ants come and go, I've stopped on the side of the road to watch deer, I've convinced other people to stop on the side of the road so I can watch deer, I've been late to class because I heard a new bird sound and had to find the bird it came from (that was the first time I saw a cardinal! So it was worth it). I want to know what it does and why it does it, how it does it, what it likes and what it's scared of. And every animal has its own identity and it's just fantastic to discover it, because it happens so slowly.
There was a raccoon at a zoo I interned at and her favorite food was hard-boiled eggs. Once a month her weight had to be taken and the scale made her nervous. The only thing she'd get on the scale for was an egg. There was a moose that liked overripe bananas. And I'll never forget either of those things because they were things that were unique.
I have a weird kind of animal radar. If there's a dog within my range of vision, I will see it, even if it's 2 or 3 blocks away. I can hear the the distinct rattle of collar and leash and know there's a dog somewhere nearby. I notice all the squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, skunks, raccoons on my walks because it's what I love. I love watching and listening. You learn the most when you're quiet.
And dogs! I love dogs. I volunteered the local animal shelter last winter and it just changed my life a little bit. Here are the ones that stuck with me the most:
Relationships with animals are just worth it. They're worth the time and the effort, they're worth the hurt when it doesn't go well, or the good hurt when it goes well but you can't be the one to take them home. I love it.
That's your long post for the day.
I'm still sick and can't breathe and it makes eating the most boring thing to do, which is unfortunate because eating is usually my favorite thing to do. Meanwhile, the heat is back on in our apartment! And it snowed today, so we got it back just in time.