"I love acting, but it's much more fun taking the kids to the zoo."
- Nicole Kidman
- Nicole Kidman
Today I took the morning off and journeyed to the zoo with two of my friends who happen to be young moms -- and so, I did just what Nicole loves. I went to the zoo.
How about you, you, you? I'm going to the zoo, zoo, zoo! (If you've ever babysat you know this song, if not -- your days are coming -- you too shall be humming this tune!)
We met around 9:15 am -- I even rescheduled a morning audition -- and we hopped into the Lexus SUV and off we traveled to the Los Angeles Zoo.
Now, keep in mind that I have been living in this city for over 8 years and I have never been to the zoo. Not once. I adore the San Diego Zoo.
And I absolutely love animals. And especially after having adopted Gatsby over 3 years ago, I feel that Gatsby is every animal. And the truth is -- I believe that this is the point of life. That we see whom we love in everyone. This was, we love as much and as many people as possible.
So, when I looked at the kangaroo as it lay there in the sun, it looked like Gatsby resting in the courtyard.
And the lion sidled up against the wall could've been Gatsby sidling up against the bathroom door when he follows me in when I shower.
When the little "pig bull" was his translated name and the name that meant "pig bull" eludes me, but when the baby was racing around its mother and running as if it were taking a crucial part in some invisible race, he totally reminded me of Gatsby especially when he was first let off leash at the LACMA grounds. He'd race around and around as if he would win an award for his speed.
We ate lunch on picnic tables, which we'd packed this morning or last night. I ate barefoot.
We watched camps of children with their camp names on their bright t-shirts, glaring proudly in the morning sun. We watched a bill goat-esque animal atop a mountain pee for what seemed like ten minutes.
I bought some pens at the gift shop. I watched a chimp spoon a smaller chimp, then pick his nose and his bum and continue spooning...
It was breezy and sunny and the zoo was clean and friendly and each animal had a well-informed sign that helped us all along in our understanding of it.
A giraffe's neck is roughly 8 feet long, for example. And the chimpanzees are now on the endangered species list.
But, it was the kind of morning that I never quite knew I could have in Los Angeles. We walked through a zoo in the beautiful Griffith Park and we saw all kinds of people -- granted most of them were wearing camp t-shirts -- and we got to see beautiful and unique and playful and sleepy and fast and peeing and spooning animals and they inspired me.
I felt like -- wow. I need this more often. I need to break up my days. With nature. And animals. And the great outdoors. And that it's okay to be away. To discover new things. I am not going to miss anything by being away. By seeing what else is out there. By spending time doing things I love -- things that I usually save to do when I am "away" on vacation.
What if we made our homes into a vacation?
Our cities were ours to excavate?
And so... my dear blades, this is what I was thinking this morning.
That I took a day away -- at least part of a day. And I loved it. Utterly loved it.
I loved all the animals. It's kind of like Arthur Miller says in All My Sons. I walked around feeling like, these are all of our animals.
Each and every one of them.
And any artist, truly -- any human being, can learn from these animals.
How they move and relate to one another.
And thus, my little blades, on this note, I am off to bed... For a beautiful, wild and rare night of sleep.
Things are moving along quite magically. There are still areas where I am excited to have movement. But alas, I am moving along.
Excitedly. Details on my movie to come.
I hope you all take a trip to the zoo this summer -- after all, what is a summer for if not to visit a zoo and remember what it feels like a have a carefree day with a packed lunch and a sense of awe?
Take a trip. You'll be thrilled you did.
Love to you all... Always.
And the thing is, the kids are still so little, so they liked it too -- but when asked what were their favorite animals we saw all day as we headed back to the car, Kai said, "monkeys!" and Baxter exclaimed, "elephants!" Neither of which we saw today. Zoiks.