"He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy. And during the course if each day his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, our nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others—the only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad. Because his life has unlimited potential for happiness, insofar as it was an empty white room. He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his rib cage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by midafternoon he was again overcome by the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad."
Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated (via aequinoctium
wickedfuzz: Good Bye Old Friend
Elephants are legendary for their memory and intelligence including attributes associated with grief, making music, altruism and compassion. We came across this elephant whose corpse was overcome by vultures and jackals. From a distance we heard and then saw another elephant approaching at a fast pace. She was successful at chasing away the predators and then very slowly and with much empathy wrapped her trunk around the deceased elephants tusk. She stayed in this position for several hours guarding her friend.
(© John Chaney/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
These amazing embryonic animal photographs of dolphins, sharks, dogs, penguins, cats and elephants are from a new National Geographic Documentary called “Extraordinary Animals in the Womb”.
“Photographer Tou Chih-kang captures the last moment of shelter dogs before they are taken away by veterinarians to be put down. Tou has recorded the last moments of about 400 dogs, hoping the images will encourage responsibility among pet owners.”
Detail of Plate 21 of The Birds of America by John Audubon, the mockingbird. This plate shows a group of Mockingbirds defending their nest against a rattlesnake looking for its morning omelette. This is Audubon verging on melodrama. As the snake menaces the female with bared fangs, the male jumps on its back and pulls at its eye.