Thursday, January 09, 2014

LE TIGRE D'HIVER...


If I have a resolution for 2014 apart from to cull quell(!) anxiety, or deal with anxiety better, or be less crippled by anxiety please, it's to get my camera fixed or get a new/old camera that I'm happy with. If I'd done that I would not be presenting these dreadfully awful phone pictures of an intensely amazing moment.


We were wandering the streets of Paris, commenting on various architecture, looking at trees, wandering past the Cirque d'Hiver, which I've never paid much attention to and actually always thought was an old circus that was now only used as a theatre / venue.

Crossing into the little Place Pasdeloup I turned my head to the side and looked straight into the eyes of a tiger. A real, full sized adult tiger who batted his eyes at me like a cat, from his green room cage across a yard behind railings. Tied back tarpaulin curtains framed him. We had a long silent communion and I tried to zoom in enough with my iphone to picture the moment. Mostly failed on that. After about ten minutes I wandered off in shock and later couldn't stop telling everyone about the tiger, including a four year old boy who wouldn't believe me and thought I meant a statue of a tiger, until I showed him a blurry photo as proof. When we passed by again later the curtains were pulled shut.


I feel uneasy about the existence of circuses in general and wouldn't go to one for entertainment. Though from the little I saw, the animals seemed content and well looked after in their yard. The next day I just so happened to conveniently pass by again at around the same time and my friend was waiting there, curtains open - this time putting on a Lola worthy display of flirting, paw licking, stretching and yawning. Fortunately there were several layers of bars between us - not because I was scared; I felt no fear at all - but because I would have been so tempted to crawl in and nestle into the beautiful fur of his belly.



It was a genuinely magical happening. Things that are dear to me are not what I usually share with the internet anymore sadly - the nature of the beast, one might say. But I think this incredible creature, hiding in plain sight in the centre of Paris, is larger than life enough to be a spirit animal to me and anybody else who cares to pay him a visit.

7 comments:

Ruth said...

This is such a gorgeous post! What a an amazing moment, thank you for sharing.

Bardotty said...

Lovely. Tigers are my favourite animal and I have never seen one or even imagined one in this kind of setting. It is like a kids' book story.

Camille said...

You and I have pretty much the same resolutions for 2014 - I really want to take more photos and get the pile of film rolls and disposable cameras I have developed! Regarding anxiety, something that's really helping me these days is to tell myself that whatever feeling of anxiety I get, or symptom of it, is just that, a symptom of my anxiety and of nothing else regarding my life or state of health. It's really been helping me to remain calm, and ever since I started thinking like that (on top of making a few lifestyle changes I'm struggling but hoping to maintain), things have been steadily better for me. Happy New Year and good luck, Claire!

Gemma said...

That is incredible! I've been having bouts of anxiety over the last 6 months or so and have a very bad habit of trying to pretend that everything is normal when it hits which really doesn't work. Unfortunately I don't always recognise the anxiety until it has already flipped me out so I'm going to try to get better at seeing the signs and understanding (and saying) what I need to help it to pass. I hope your resolutions work out, I recommend buying a camera as soon as you can and just enjoying ticking that off the list!

Claire said...

Ruth and Bardotty, thank you.

Camille, I will give that a try with the anxiety symptoms! I've been using a disposable camera, which I like because you can knock them about and they're light but I've got a bad habit of including my finger in photos!

Gemma - with you on that one. Just recognising and actually telling everyone I have a problem with anxiety is a big one for me - how can I ever hope to get on top of it without acknowledging it! I've found another place that "might" be able to fix my previously badly repaired camera. If they can't I'll sell it and get a new one! I'd love a Contax but they're too spen.

Gemma said...

I asked BF for camera advice before Christmas and ended up getting C an Olympus mju II which might be worth a look if you don't have any luck with your camera.

Rose said...

amazing moment! it's interesting you could feel him before you saw him (or her) it's obviously some kind of danger instinct!