Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Love Story: Man & Shark's Friendship Proves Critters Have Soul!

The wonderful Theme from the wonderful film "Love Story"
the instrumental here written by Francis Lai and actually named
Where Do I Begin
by the composer.
Wow, did I have
a crush on Ali McGraw.
Come to think of it,
still do. :)

I've been thinking a lot about love lately. Not really romantic love so much, as the type so beautifully depicted in the film "Love Story," but of another type. The love between two friends.

I actually have. I've been thinking that the course of every true and meaningful friendship between people is truly a love story of sorts. With a beginning, a middle, and sometimes, unfortunately, an end. But sometimes the ends are meant to be and can be good things. But the ones I enjoy the most are the ones that are continuing to this day and continue on a day to day basis and haven't ended, and I hope will truly have no end. <3 :)

One friendship which came to pass for me, for example is a lovely woman (let's call her Dawn) who I went to high school with beginning over 40 years ago. We didn't know each other the first couple of years of high school really, but she became the editor of my high school newspaper and was as cute as all get-go. Even cuter than Ali McGraw. Yes. I didn't join the journalism class until my senior year and she was already the Editor of the school paper. I looked up to her, admired her and had a huge crush on her. <3 :)

I also had a steady date in those days, and we dated until I graduated and that was that. When I took journalism class, Dawn worked with me, teaching me how to 'paste up' pages for the newspaper (that meant leaning over the desk to show me how its done and what-not, and that would give me goose bumps, but God forbid she should know that-lol). She and the faculty adviser worked with me on a story I wrote about the wars then winding up in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and it was transformed by them into a lead story in that venerable publication, a rare event when national political news became the lead story for the suburban semi weekly school paper. I so appreciated working with Dawn, I admired her skills, her intellect and her academic accomplishments. We didn't become close friends then outside of school. But she definitely fit the friend category, and there was that crush element going on, too. Indisputably on my part. So 1974 comes, we sit in a high school football field in June, graduate and go our separate ways.

Fast forward to 2009. I came online and began a writing project which incorporated journalism, including this Unabashed literary gem that you are reading now (remember that for "all your military affairs and comedy needs it's one-stop-shopping at and added ventures as the Hartford Government Examiner (linked thusly: and as their New Haven Culture Examiner (linked in this different manner: and by a series of "co"incidences, I became reacquainted with Dawn, my high school Editor, who was now aware of my journalistic shenanigans and was pleased to see them. We traded notes extensively on what had transpired in the intervening 39 years, and it turns out that she had attempted and accomplished some very admirable and daring journalistic ventures of her own! We also shared about our personal journeys, past and present along with future aspirations. We clicked. I became very concerned about the situations ongoing in her life, and she in mine. :) We were friends again. How good is that?

Not very long ago Dawn suffered an unimaginable loss in her life, and I can't begin to comprehend the feelings she's enduring. I love my friend, and so wish she hadn't had to suffer this loss. Over the course of the past couple of years, we've both admitted to our mutual 'crushes' all those years ago. Turns out that my high school newspaper editor whom I had admired so much, apparently had very similar feelings about me, that I had about her. <3 :) We most certainly have discussed the notion of dating since the time we've both been single again.

At the time of her recent unimaginably devastating loss, I was able to talk with Dawn daily, to comfort her and to give her needed support. That made me happy. At the time of the ceremonies required at the time of such cataclysmic tragedies as she has suffered, I was able to be there and to be with Dawn on the worst days of her life. We continue to communicate frequently, and my love for Dawn as a friend is indescribable and feels so good I can't put it into words. I'm not concerned that the status of our relationship change in any manner, my only concern is that Dawn be able to come through this nightmare of a time in her life and be able to see that she is a true gemstone, a worthy individual worthy of the unconditional love offered by God, but also truly worthy of the love she has earned from her many friends, colleagues, and from this friend. My dear friend's welfare matters to me more than anything in our relationship, and I think that's something that she's been able to teach me, though it's hard to describe exactly how that's happened.

So, when my friend Mary Gariepy sent me this photo essay today, and she knowing about my feelings for critters, the romantic aspect of friendships came to mind. I've had romances with K9s, felines, turtles, and guinea pigs to name a few. I spoke with my sister Sallie about the grieving she's still going through over the death of her long-lived beloved pet rabbit, and the fact that she's finally gotten well enough to rescue a new feline family member once again. Friendship. Romance. Of the inter-species variety.

In His great book the Holy Bible, in the very first book of that volume entitled Genesis, and in the very first chapter of that very first book; specifically in verse 26 (so I figger He must've thought it wuz pretty important since He got it in there right quick) in the New Revised Standard Version it is declared that "God said, 'Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." I highly recommend this volume by the way, in case you haven't read it yet; or just haven't read it lately.

So how we treat our brethren, not just fellow humans, but critters, matters very much to Him. So much so that from the very get-go, chapter one of Genesis, He makes clear that their welfare is our responsibility. Turns out God's a green Guy! Yippee!

Sharks are at the very top of the oceanic feeding chain and play a crucial role in the ecology of all species, not just oceanic ones. The inappropriate demise or endangerment of even one of the shark species dooms countless others, and devalues the quality of life for all on this planet, particularly our own species. Growing up, I fished the shores of LI  Sound. I've caught many a shark, including toothless sand sharks, some very sharp-toothed Makos up to maybe 20 pounds, and even some Blue sharks and other wondrous species. They are beautiful to behold, and I've always released sharks. ALWAYS and never went about the business of specifically attempting to catch sharks, it has always been in the pursuit of other species that I've wound up catching a shark unintentionally. Capturing sharks now for commercial or for 'sport' purposes is NOT justified at all, their role in the ecosystem is too well understood now and their overfishing and endangered status just too clear. Please advocate for the sharks, just as much as you do for the whales.

And please remember, the care of all the critters; from our wonderful companions such as the felines and canines, to the three-toed sloth as well as sharks and whales ARE our responsibility and we should take it very seriously. Even as we climb into our cars and spew forth more unnecessary greenhouse gasses. So, please enjoy this photo essay from my friend Mary. Peace and <3

Who said that animals do not have soul?  

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