In going through my journals, I come across these words and this experience by Dawn Prince-Hughes.  She has Aspergers.  In wanting to understand human communication, she began sitting outside the window of the enclosure for the silverback gorillas at the Seattle zoo.  One day she arrived upset. Congo, a silverback male gorilla noticed and rushed to the window.  He motioned to her to put her head on his shoulder. They touched through the glass and felt the glass as fluid.

She says: I probably stayed with him like that, with my head on his shoulder, for 30 minutes or so. I think it was probably the first time I was genuinely comforted by another person. Congo really set the standard for what social interactions should be like between me and another human being.  You just can’t worry about looking like a fool. You can’t worry about getting hurt. You can’t worry about whether you’re right or not. It just boils down to wanting to be connected at all costs, at all risks. I no longer wanted to allow the permeability of my spirit to seek smaller and smaller shelters. It requires a completely open heart. I felt like I found a way to go home through the glass.  

2 thoughts on “Going Home

  1. Beautiful, I truly appreciated your recount of that story. How powerful to be open to comfort on any level from any creature. Also, that picture definitely looks familiar! Thank you.


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