I cry in aquariums

I don’t like aquariums or zoos because the whole concept of animals in captivity makes me uncomfortable. 

But I love aquariums because I get to stand still as a great shark swims over me, showing me her belly, and I never have to be in danger or even get wet. I love sea creatures. 

I love humans too. I think I understood this as  basic truth about myself from as far as I can remember. Perhaps it was the privilege of having a childhood in so much goodness. I loved humans, people. Then growing up happened and my relationship with humanity has been…complicated–especially coming to terms with my own, which I think is natural. 

When we love something we close it and put it in a box somehow and we do it so naturally, we do it with great pride and even put ourselves into boxes or completely refuse and reject the idea of being put into a box only to jump into a differently shaped, maybe bigger, but  consequentially, still just another box. 

Humanity in its aquariums, and apartment complexes, and villas, and gorgeous castles and lost villages in the middle of the sea. 

I cry in aquariums because I deeply understand the juxtaposition of our kind when its staring me back in the face, through glass, the tragic hypocrisy and self-fulfilling prophecy of having to box and capture our own wildness, beauty, mystery? A trade off to everything, one where we have sold ourselves short a few times too many. 

We were in Malta today, and I went to no aquariums. There were cats. And all of the land vibrated under the tension of my feet, and heart. All the memories. Malta is photogenic at every angle, but also it is simply impossible to capture its beauty. Having things to look at and saturate my senses with is sometimes the only thing that works from being saturated in anxiety. Malta was medicinal.

I cried in Malta too, but not really. I told myself no crying today, and put war paint on. Now we’re back on the boat and it becomes about surrendering to the lack of control. I put myself in a giant metal box in the middle of the ocean. Why? I don’t know. But I over think enough, and the answer to that will probably come on its own anyway. 

Malta, January 2017


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