My kids and I often frequent an aquarium in Connecticut.
For what feels like at least six years, they have had a sea turtle named Charlotte living there. We sit there for hours watching her swim around her tank. Charlotte can pretty much only float due to a boating accident that damaged her digestional tract. Air gets trapped in her insides causing her to rise to the surface which means she can’t dive down and search for food. Thus she can not be released into the wild. Of course we first thought “Awe. poor Charlotte” but watching her, you don’t feel that way. She is always swimming her heart out and full of life. Each time we go to the aquarium we first go look for her, to make sure she’s still there and doing ok. She’s nice and big and healthy and always swimming away.
I get really depressed and overwhelmed when I see negative environmental impact. Charlotte has won a place in our hearts, which is the point of zoos and aquariums right? – to connect humans to nature and make them more aware of their surroundings? So thank you Charlotte, we simply adore you and through observing you, my two kids are now very aware of the obstacles sea turtles face.
Today, we got to see all the sea turtles at Sea World. Again, many damaged by boats and fish nets, which is why they are held in captivity. They have at least ten turtles. They are huge. Most ranging from 20 -50 years old. Again I found myself simply mesmerized. One particular Loggerhead was an extra curious turtle and would stop and wade while looking right into your eyes. It was so very cool. I could have watched all day. Of course the park closed and we had to move on, but the turtles still left quite an impact on me.
That is what caused me to draw and paint a sea turtle today.
After all of the horrible baggage attached to the “PLIGHT OF THE SEA TURTLE” I was able to dump it and simply go back to turtles being my favorite animal. Through my hands, my eyes and my mind, I could create an image that reminds me of their majestic beauty, their longevity, their peacefulness. Not the damage and the wreckage.
Sometimes I feel like I have the whole weight of humanity on my consciousness. I can literally feel immobile. That is not the solution to any problem, so instead, I choose to celebrate the beauty that exists on this planet and maybe through my words and my drawings, I can like Charlotte help with the mission of awareness. That we are all connected to this green and blue place and we need to take care of it and it’s inhabitants.
I know, I know tree-hugging has become quite trendy these days, but hopefully some of it will sink into humanity’s collective consciousness.
It just has to!
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