Marty is a penguin guy. For whatever reasons, they’re his animal, probably his favorite. People at large who know Marty would think of him if they ran across one of these, or these, or a neat movie like this or this.
This could be considered a whimsical sort of thing. Standard question for any kid, ‘what’s your favorite animal?’, and of course their answer might change from the first query to the next (or for that matter, one moment to the next:P). But it can also be something at least a little deeper. I’m not sure about other Native American peoples, but the one I’m part of, the Inupiat, and the ones whose region (The PNW) I grew up in, the Coast Salish, have Totems. In these cultures, animals have deep significance. They are part and parcel of the lore and other stories of these tribes, whose understanding of animals (and all other nature) includes something sacred.
I’m 100% non-religious, but I get and appreciate it for the stuff that has been good and important and interesting about it throughout humans’ history. Me, I think human spirituality needs to shed its old skin of religion and evolve into something greater, universal, simpler, that’s impossible to wield as a threat, that doesn’t involve a god or gods (who can be anthropomorphized to suit whatever party’s preferences), and that doesn’t impose a dogma or liturgy (in the stricter, commonly understood meaning of the word). It should be elegant and make eternal basic human sense, and fosterable by each individual into a rich sense of meaning for all life, their own life and that of others. The closest thing we have to that right now is Buddhism. It is singular among religions in that it is freeing, even ultimately of itself, encourages tricky and difficult questions, and fosters peace and grace.
But I digress. Animals.
My thing for animals is somewhere in between the standard-kid-question level of significance and the sacred-totem level. On a scale of the former to the latter, I’d say something like a 3.5 or 4. I think if you have an affinity for a certain animal, you might be able to ask yourself why that particular one charmed you or earned your attention, and possibly learn something about yourself with the answers. But maybe not… either way, and more importantly, I think you can just have it. It can be part of how you identify outwardly to some or other extent, like maybe it’s your avatar, or printed on your return-address stickers or you have stuff in your house with its image, whatever, and your peeps tend to know about it. Or maybe it’s just-you thing. But I say, keep it, its free. What’s your favorite animal? Why? I’m not asking you to answer here, but if you don’t already have a totem-lite animal, maybe find one, or ask someone who loves you what they think. Enjoy your animal. Whatever your spirituality, even if none much, maybe wrap it up a bit in who you are.
Mine’s the Orca.
Have a great rest of your Thursday! See you soon over at TSN.
I just wanted to add, without making that long post any longer, Big Thanks to Marty for allowing me to guest-blog here. It’s been an honor. I hope to have you step in at TSN sometime 🙂
My animal is the dragonfly. And lately I’ve been feeling a little rabbit as well.
Loved your post. 🙂
Did you know? then penguin is the mascot for the Libertarian party (like Elephant = Republican; Donkey = Democrat).
My conspiracy theory is that all those penguin movies and linux adoption marketing campaigns is so that the Libertarian party will have a fighting chance when these kids are voting age.
Hey Catherine… Another great post. The most famous Orca I knew was Shamu at Sea World. Now I know another one. 🙂
As for Wayne’s revelation, it’s not the official mascot and I’m more of a Democrat than a Libertarian, but if the penguin can make it’s way into being a political party mascot, then maybe I’ll have to at least respect the other party.
Does this mean that when you vote Libertarian, the vote counters have to use Linux systems to do the official counting?
Lizriz – I have a special affinity for a few other animals, and one of them is the Dragonfly. Essential life force, sheer energy. You must be a colorful, vibrant person!
Whall – I hope these kids will be voting the issues, candidates, or even party, and not mascot! (As adorable and charming as penguins are.)
Marty Thanks. It’s been a pleasure 🙂 And now I’m picturing that poor little Linux penguin sorting out voting cards, ha.
Cat person. Totally. Always.
Sybil – I love the kittehs! So adorable and interesting. My cat Charlie used to bat my little rubber ducky around from the side of my bathtub, so amusing for both of us 🙂
Cath… in a former life I used to have 8 cats. They were so cute, they’d come into the bathroom in the mornings to “help” and when I’d shave they’d bat the shaving foam that floated on top of the water. Bless ’em.
Kev – Aww! That’s awesome. They seem to have a thing for batting stuff, don’t they?
I am a HUGE dog lover. A good chunk of my heart belongs to all the doggies in the world. 🙂 Once my kids are grown, I plan on getting involved in resuce/fostering work. I’m lucky I have my husband to keep me in line or I’d have twenty dogs right now!
Wait…do baby humans count? Because I would’ve had twenty of them too if my husband would’ve let me, lol.
BlondeBlogger – Ha, wonderful! I wish you every success in that. I love doggies (although I’ve had a cat and loved him to pieces, I am a dog person) and am grateful for people like you who want to help the ones who need it.
Baby humans are totally adorable. I love their little feet and ears and teensy little noses and such forth, and trying to get them smile at me 🙂