“It’s an incredibly difficult thing to bring a giraffe down. They can kill a lion with a single blow from their feet.”
- Joanna Lumley.
Welcome reader to the Blue Giraffe blog. Recognizing I’m more than a decade late (almost 2, really) to the blog party, I’m grateful to you for entertaining this format to engage in my observations, stories, and truths.
So why is this called Blue Giraffe?
To begin, I have a fascination with giraffes. It started several years ago, although my affinity for them likely goes back to childhood. I think maybe even to a preschool play I was in called ‘How the Elephant got its Trunk’ in which I played (no surprise) the giraffe. Friendly but huge, with cartoonishly long necks and legs: giraffes don’t make much sense in the natural world. That’s one of the things I love about them. Of all the ways for a giraffe to evolve (we know that ancient giraffes looked much more like the okapis they are related to, with short necks and deer-like features), the giraffe selected these one-of-a-kind ways to exist and adapt to its habitat. In addition to cervical vertebrae that can grow nearly a foot tall, they’re herbivores with incredibly huge hearts: literally hearts that are almost 2 feet long and 24 lbs: and they have the longest tongues and tails in the animal kingdom. A giraffe is a survivor in an uninhabitable environment that is truly unique. So unique in fact, that scientists still debate the how’s and whys of the evolution of giraffes and have yet to figure it out. I love the mystery, the majesty, and, frankly, the comedy.
And so, I’ve opted to name this blog after my favorite, we-don’t-quite-understand-it animal. It feels appropriate for the adventure ahead.
As to the color blue; It actually isn’t my favorite color and that’s an important detail for the rest of this telling. Blue is never a go-to color for me. I don’t wear it or give it much thought, except in appreciation of an incredible southeastern US sky on those days when it looks like it’s really the set of The Truman Show in the ‘dome’: so perfect it seems unreal. However, that perfect sky isn’t why blue appears here either. At a point in my recent past, as I actively practiced what most call ‘self-care’ but often feels more to me like a freefall into living life, I took my first meditation class. I went because of the invitation of a virtual stranger. A woman I had met in another ‘self-care’ moment, going to hot vinyasa yoga; Kristine. Kristine is an unbelievable yogi, with the kind of tattoo art on her arms I covet and the confidence and fitness that made me watch her more than the instructor in class. When she started talking to me – even though I can barely get gracefully into Warrior 1 and have no ability to balance on any part of my body that isn’t my own two feet – I was more than flattered. And when she invited me to meditation, it was a ‘yes’ followed promptly by my insides crushing together in absolute panic. At 45, I had never, ever, meditated.
Still, I came to class on a Tuesday evening and sat on a cushion in a small back room among candles and women, shifting far too often so my feet would stop constantly falling asleep. Spoiler alert: I didn’t get a blank slate mind. My squirrel brain darted from idea to idea and even the soothing voice of the instructor (so young, she could be my child) did little to stop it. But at one point, a series of visions that were not of my conscious life appeared and one in particular played out over and over: a bright-white figure that seemed to radiate energy and power set in the most intense blue I’ve ever experienced. That blue, that blue was more than the sky or water or any other blue I’d ever seen. I was swallowed by it and in awe of it.
I would later learn that blue is for the throat chakra. One of the seven chakras centering on parts of the body and with particular meaning. The throat being aligned with communication and telling your story.
And so, I give you Blue Giraffe. Welcome. Stretch your long, regal neck, shift your numb feet, and join me for all the truths, the stumbles, the adaptations, and the discoveries I can share.