Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jungle


The world use to arrive at my door in a brown paper wrapper. With it were the wings to fly to the moon. Through glossy slick pages, I danced to native drums, my breasts exposed, dangling in the overhead sun, submerged myself in coral reefs to swim with sea turtles and sharks, and followed my first feminist heroine, Dr. Jane Goodall, into the jungles of Tanzania to learn the language of chimpanzees. Back issues stacked near the vinyl sofa in the basement became the foundations for school reports, for dinnertime debates, and forays into lost cultures.
Today the wrapper is plastic, there are more ads than I recall from my youth, but it is still a coveted read. My kids will quietly disappear behind closed doors, emerging hours later with that well traveled look on their brows. We post the coolest maps on our walls and talk about the Moche and Angkor like we were archaeologists. We spy microscopic landscapes and wander the last vestiges of isolated civilizations. Thank you, National Geographic, for widening our eyes and minds into worlds we never knew existed. Thank you for bringing the jungles to our table.

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful memories, well done.

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    1. I am amazed at the thoughts that these words trigger...probably the best therapy I have ever had!

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  2. Beautiful job. I read Bonobo Handshake, it was fascinating. Whenever I think of National Geographic, I always remember John Lithgow & Dan Aykroyd in The Twilight Zone film, singing words to the (NG) theme song "You see this bone here, this could be worth big bucks!"

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  3. Holy adorable fuzzy monkey! And National Geographic has always been so wonderfully fascinating. It should be required reading for people who have never left their home country. ;)

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