coDa
Another Regard
The gorillas regarded me. To them, I had
never been away, because I had really been
there once. Time is different to the gorillas.
It is about being together, not about being
apart. I am content to feel that kind of time,
and I close my eyes and smell deeply the hot
lemon smell of gorillas and the thick sweet
smell of the hay.
* Dawn PrincE
First Movement ~ Are You a Gorilla?
In a piece entitled “The Silence Between,” Dawn Prince writes of an en-
counter with a bonobo chimpanzee, Kanzi, that sets the stage for a rethink-
ing of the deep “regard” she shares with apes of all kinds. Having flown to
Decatur, Georgia, at the invitation of Sue Savage- Rumbaugh, Prince finds
herself alone with Kanzi. She writes: “Naturally, I fell into the gorilla lan-
guage I knew, a language of body, mind, and spirit. Kanzi and I played chase
up and down the fence line, both of us on all fours, smiling in a sea of fun
and deep breaths.” Then something uncanny occurred:
He stopped suddenly and grabbed his word board off the ground. He
pointed to a symbol and then pointed to me and made a hand gesture
with his eyebrows raised. It was clear that he was asking me a question.
He repeated this series of words and movements over and over, until I
said, out loud, “I’m sorry, I can’t understand, Kanzi. Let me get Sue and
maybe she can help me.” At first, she was at a loss. Then after asking
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