14 August

Video: Maria Feeding Priscilla, The Big Stingray. Joy, Joy, Joy

by Jon Katz


Maria and I share a great love of animals and we cherish our lives with them. But her love of nature and all living things is deeper and purer than mine. She can get more joy from feeding a stingray or watching a snail climb up a fish tank than most people get from years of living.

Even if I can’t always feel what she feels, I am always and so happy that she can feel so much. and for so many things, from donkeys to trees to succulent plants.

And today, to a big friendly stingray in an upstate New York Aquarium.

Maria is full of emotion, it bubbles up, her passion for life is an amazing thing to see, and a wonderful thing to live with.

All of her life, people made her think she was crazy, and she is just beginning to understand that she is usually the only sane one around, and was surrounded by craziness.

She and Jackie spent hours today visiting stingrays, sharks, and other fish. Maria was eager to show me her photos, she couldn’t have been happier feeding the stingray than if she was on a plane to Paris.

Maria and her friend Jackie went together this morning to the Via Aquarium in Schenectady, N.Y., a small, lively, and popular aquarium in the middle of a dying shopping mall.

Maria had invited me to come, but I passed. She was shocked. I thought my legs would protest after a while and I didn’t want her cutting a visit short for me.

I told her I love to fish and aquariums but I had a lot of writing to do and I’m not all that wild about stingrays. That is true.

The best aquarium I’ve been to in my life is the Boston Aquarium, I could have spent days there with Maria watching the octopus and the many different fish.

I knew that Maria and Jackie would stay a lot longer than I wanted to stay and I was right. Left along, they would have visited with Priscilla all day.

Early in the visit, Maria send me this video of her patting Priscilla.

She and Jackie are close friends and Jackie shares Maria’s passion for the animal world. When Maria called, I could hear the laughter and joy in both of their voices.

Come and listen.

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