Sunday, January 26, 2014

Oh You Who Doubt

By Christina Carson

Years ago, and I mean years, for I was in my twenties, I read a book with a title I cannot remember written by a Hollywood screenwriter about a summer he spent dog sitting a friend’s rather extraordinary dog. The actualized capacity of this creature was a by-product of someone having taken the time to assist him* in developing his potential. The dog had training in security and military work as well as acting. To the screenwriter who’d never had a dog in his life, living with this German shepherd proved boggling. To get to the point, over the course of the summer, the dog convinced the writer he was capable of communication with him – solid, undeniable experiences of exchanges of information. Eventually, it became a two-way conversation. The story the writer related was irrefutable evidence for this gal, and years later, I had similar experiences with my amazing Komondor, Dali; I being the lesser developed link in the process, however.

What would have us believe that communication is limited to intraspecies dialogue – human to human, cat to cat? Perhaps
Black Leopard
because we've not given it thought? Perhaps because we have a rather inflated view of our type of intelligence? Perhaps because we have no real sense of our own nature and thus do not recognize the likelihood of that nature in other forms of life.

When the leopard, you are about to see expresses his relief at being freed from human expectations for him, freed from our misunderstanding about the real needs Life seeks to fulfill, it struck a chord with me. Laugh if you dare, but the Life the lives him is the same Life that lives you and me. The ancient Dakotah Sioux had a near perfect term for it—“Taku s’kans’kan—something in movement, spiritual vitality…”  Freedom was so inherent to their sense of life that their language had no word meaning “free.” They weren't seeking it; they lived it. They and the leopard would have understood each other completely.

As you are touched by the poignancy of this video, try to look deeper within the emotion you feel, past seeming sadness to astonishment that this leopard is imbuing you with what he knows about power, majesty and freedom. See how you FEEL it. Your breath being taken away is your recognition that the life that is the leopard is the same life that is you. That’s why you can recognize it.  Our real “talk” is always at that level whether human to human or human to animal. The rest is just noise. And don’t kid yourself. You already knew that too.

*I purposely choose personal pronouns to refer to animals, because using the pronoun “it” to refer to an animal obviously doesn't work in this story or any other in my world.

Subscribe if you wish, although it may have repercussions on your reputation.
If you are receiving this via email, but prefer to read it on line, click here.


  1. How beautiful Christina. Yes, it is life speaking to itself. How perfectly told here in your story. Thank you!

    1. It is a beautiful portrayal of connection Thank goodness animals are so good at it and patient too.

  2. I read at first so I could send it out on Triberr; then as I watched the video, it pulled at my heart. What a wonderful experience. for the leopard, the people, and, Me. Thank you so much.

    1. So glad you saw this, Barbara. It is really a gift to us all. Thanks for taking the time and for sending it on.