Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Introspective Ape

I was between classes last week. I had a break, so I called up Rod Deering, who works for the same outfit I do, but in the District Education Office. Mr. Wong and I hadn't heard anything from him since he got back from Japan, to look after some business, and visit his wife.
She stays in Japan, and looks after the tuition centers they own, while he does his thing elsewhere. Rod says that he and his wife love each other, they just can't live with each other.

Rod said he was doing okay, but he did seem a little depressed, which meant he only used two curse words in every sentence, instead of every other word. After a couple of minutes he got back to normal, and started on one of his rants about life, and the way things suck. There's nothing wrong with that. I do it myself sometimes, except that I am a lot more careful with my language.

While talking to Rod, I looked over at the school watertower, and saw something strange up there. It was some sort of animal. I couldn't tell what it was, but I could tell that whatever it was, it was big. From where I stood it looked like feathers blowing in the wind. SInce I could.t see any feet, my first impression was that it was some kind of big bird, like an owl or an eagle. That meant I had to go and investigate, and get some pictures.

When I got close enough to see what it was, I was surprised. It wasn't a bird, It was an alpha male macaque. He was sitting on the edge of the tower, looking over the Lake Gardens, and seemingly deep in thought. It was like I had come upon simian Hamlet. He didn't notice me as I got out my camera, and played with the settings to try to get the perfect picture before he moved and I lost my chance.

I took one picture, and then he noticed me. He turned away. The first shot was out of focus, so I took another. I tried moving to the front to get another shot, but he kept turning away. Without a doubt, I was annoying him. The last thing I wanted to do was to disturb his ruminations. So I quietly slipped away, and let him get back to pondering things I could only wonder about.

From his perch he could see everything his life revolved around. The king was looked over his kingdom, and seemingly wondered if it was all worth it. He had stepped away from his problems. He knew a place where he could get away from it all, and get a different view of things. A place where no one would bother him, except for an inquisitive teacher with a camera.
Instead of raging and complaining, he took a step back to get an objective view of things.

I knew that this was an object lesson, telling me instead of raging and complaining, and feeling trapped, I should be like that alpha male, and find that quiet spot where I can get away from it all, and find my peace.

It just goes to show you, we can learn a lot from the animals.