A Galapagos Tale

We visited Fernandina Island in the Galapagos some years ago at Christmastime. DSCN2016Among the thousands of the iguanas, blue-footed boobies and tortoises, the animal I remember most is an abandoned sea lion pup.

Alone on the rocky lava flats, it waddled back and forth, calling for its mother. DSCN2380No matter how much it squeaked and bleated, there was no response. None of the other sea lions showed any interest, lounging instead in the sun. The only animal paying any attention was a hawk, sitting atop a dead tree out of the bushes. DSCN2376“The mother has probably been eaten by a shark,” our guide explained.

“What about the baby?” we demanded.

“The hawk will wait until it stops moving and then come down to peck its eye out.”

“That’s terrible,” we replied.

He shrugged. “That’s nature.”

Strength in a Line

It is impossible to define what makes beauty. We tend to  think it is in the face. Baboon-03-HD-WallpaperThe nose can’t be too big, nor the ears, eyes, teeth, lips; the skin cannot have a scar, a mark of any kind.pittsburgh 053Most important of all is in the jaw, the line from neck to chin, defined, curved, a strength of line upon which all else sits.


The look must be full and indifferent, demanding, subsumed, terrified, trapped, raw, all at the same time, a performer desperately nervous for her debut.


It’s a lot to ask.