Yesterday I dreamt about lions for some reason. A lion, in fact. As in singular. It was a most singular dream too.
Dreams, they say, mean things. Yeah. So I looked it up. Pretty interesting I must say. And just as you can personally identify with a lot of things as you read your horoscope, I identified with many things in the interpretation too. What an interesting way to pass time.
My city (erm.. if you insist on calling it that) has a zoo, nothing spectacular, but you get to see wild animals that are meant to roam free locked up in small enclosures. If you are philosophically inclined, as you roam around the zoo you can indulge in pleasurable negativities about the cruelty of mankind, how everyone essentially lives in a cage and other socially relevant and masochistic thoughts.
The zoo is now very well maintained as compared to how it used to about ten years ago. Now the monkeys are put in a reasonably big area where they can climb atop trees and snuggle inside polished concrete caves. The lions stretch their paws in a jungle like setting. Huge trees provide ample shade and monkeys peer down from above; some still throwing peanuts at the lions, some others making pitiable imitations of growls and still others who just stand there fascinated.
If you want to know what the meaning of the word “fear” is, look into a lion’s eyes. I did that once. The lion was quite a sickly one, all skin and bones and suffering inside a tiny little cage where it could barely move around.
A gaunt and mangy lion is a sad sight indeed. Completely stripped off the power and strength that is associated with such a majestic creature, the lion look almost harmless. And I, the ever so brave one, indulged in a silly little experiment just to see if I can.
If animals can have a completely bland expression, this lion did. He stood still and cast a really insipid and uninterested gaze at the boring sights outside. I stepped directly in front of this seemingly innocuous creature, starved to almost certain death and locked up behind iron bars.
He didn’t notice me at first. And then he did. He didn’t move, he didn’t have to. He just fixed me with the coldest, most intimidating and most menacing stare that I have ever been subject to in my entire life.
The gaze starts off almost flirtatious at first.
Don’t look away, don’t look away…
And then you realize you are just a piddly little prey. But you can’t look away. The fear that coils in your stomach is like cold, black and slimy eels that slow down your breathing and quicken your heart beat. The pounding of your heart is the only thing that you are aware of and you stand there transfixed and muttering in your mind “oh fuck!”
Then the lion let out a deep, guttural growl. Very low. Just for me. I fled for my life.
The Lion is King. You know why!
Just imagine an adult lion at the prime of its youth tensing for a pounce and you happen to be right in its path.
I think it’s the mane of the lion that makes it such a beautiful creature. The two lions in the movie, “Ghost and the Darkness,” had such lush manes and that is what made them so majestic.
Perhaps this is why (some) men with long hair come across as very strong and powerful. Think about Mel Gibson in Braveheart and Brad Pitt in Troy. I’m biased about Mr. Pitt, but Gibson was a lion indeed in the movie. He even looked like one in certain scenes.
What good is a lion that is tamed and jumps through hoops at the snap of your fingers? There is no more the lion, only an empty shell of what can be.
Human beings are also like lions, I like to imagine. At least some are, I hope.
Some are tamed, maimed, domesticated and made into circus lions that respond to the crack of a whip or a piece of bone thrown to them. What good is that!
Lions are not to be tamed. If they choose, they can come and stand next to you, their majesty and strength intact, the ferocious power still rippling beneath the tawny coat.
Power kept under control internally is much more mesmerizing than if it is controlled using wily external tactics.
Lions, of the jungle, cannot. But those of the world can. And that is what makes a majestic human being more beautiful than any lion can ever be.