Feb 22 2012

#298 Awareness (22)

From Patty in Hixson, Tennessee

Today’s Link: The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center

“It is the mission of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center to…

Educate the public through tours and programs about the importance of wolves, coyote, and fox to our ecosystem

Educate the public about the importance of preservation and conservation of the forests, land and water that supports wildlife, flora and fauna for future generations to enjoy.

Provide natural habitats and exceptional lives for the animals entrusted to our care since they cannot live in the wild.”


Jul 16 2011

#77 “Mission: Wolf”

From Jamie in Broomfield, CO

(Can you see the wolf? He’s on the left side…)

The email that I received in conjunction with this illustration from Jamie is more captivating and impressive than any commentary I could offer, so I hope she will forgive me if I forego any personal and original assessments and merely share with you some of the wonderful story that Jamie shared with me.

In her email Jamie related that she had become enamored with wolves when she saw her first real specimen in the 7th grade. Jamie was so wonderstruck by her experience that it stayed with her for a number of years. As a senior in high school, she spent more than 120 hours volunteering her time at Sinapu and Mission: Wolf. Jamie helped with a variety of activities while working at Mission: Wolf and also spent much time capturing images of the wolves in black and white photography. And thus this picture was born. Years after her experience at Mission: Wolf, Jamie used one of her photographs as inspiration for this masterpiece that she originally completed as an assignment for an art class.

In a statement of infinite grace in her email, Jamie thanked WBS for reminding her of her passion for the “majestic animal.” I feel I can only repay this wonderful compliment by encouraging you to read about the amazing sanctuary that served as an inspiration for this wonderful woman and her talent-filled artwork.

Thank you, Jamie. You are truly an inspiration.

Access Mission: Wolf here.


May 12 2011

#12 “Carpe Diem: Seize the Day”

From a stranger in Boulder, Colorado

There may be no singular Latin expression that has endured to a greater degree than the famous “Carpe Diem” or “Seize the Day.” What a fantastic notion this is; for in this one phrase lies an obvious but difficult key to happiness. This aphorism encourages us to take advantage of the time that we have on this earth, to indulge our human impulses, and to drink life to the lees; but what I find particularly interesting is that most people tend to accept this slogan as an invitation to live in such a manner that casts off responsibilities, duties, or daily tasks. I’m not sure if this was the original intention of this famous phrase.

To better understand this sentiment, I think it is necessary to examine some of the most famous literature associated with this quote from the English Renaissance. To be fair, a lot of Carpe Diem poems do seem to deal with physical pleasures and indulging our lustful desires. This idea is evident in poems such as “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell and John Donne’s “The Flea.” However, the most famous Carpe Diem poem of all time is arguably “To the Virgins to Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick. This is the poem in which the speaker encourages the virgins to gather rosebuds “while they may.” One logically assumes that the address of the poems to the “virgins” is meant as an encouragement for them to engage in sexual pleasures. This is undeniably true, but Herrick never actually mentions sex in the poem, nor does he encourage irresponsibility or immorality. In fact, what he specifically encourages the virgins to do is to get married; so while Herrick is encouraging the ladies to enjoy physical pleasures, he is also supporting responsibility.

Progressing further, another famous Carpe Diem poem that seems (at a superficial examination) to encourage a lackadaisical lifestyle is “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.” I will concede that the speaker in this poem does encourage an existence focused on pleasure; but what is really interesting is that Sir Walter Raleigh actually wrote a response to this poem (“The Nymph’s Reply”) in which he bombasts this unrealistic lifestyle and accuses the shepherd of being deceitful and embracing fanciful notions too freely.

As a final note, let’s not forget that the most famous Renaissance writer of all time was William Shakespeare. It is important to point this out because much of Shakespeare’s work warned against ideas related to self-indulgence. One small example would be the tragedy of Macbeth in which the title character’s self-serving nature leads to his own pitiful downfall.

So, in conclusion, admire this wolf for his romantic sentiment, acknowledge and respect his idealistic outlook. Go ahead and “Seize the Day” if you will, but take care to remember that tomorrow is just around the corner.