My friend B, out of the blue, gave me a gift: a beautiful cake plate with a border of umber triangles and a tiny giraffe in the center. Such an arresting image—a giraffe at the center of a pinwheel.
The night before, I had seen the movie Beginners, in which a son asks his gay father, who comes out of the closet after the death of his wife, why he had gotten married. The father answers, “Well, let's say that since you were little, you always dreamed of getting a lion. And you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and you wait, but the lion doesn't come. And along comes a giraffe. You can be alone, or you can be with the giraffe.”
So what's the deal with giraffes? According to Professor Google, the giraffe’s long neck is a symbol of grace in striving; its third horn (in the third-eye position above and between the eyes) is emblematic of an ability to see the truth through the fog of life’s distractions; its long eyelashes connote protection of inner vision; its long black tongue (which extends to fully 20 inches!) symbolizes eloquence. And did you know the giraffe is nature’s insomniac, requiring only 10 to 20 minutes a day of sleep, and retains water more efficiently than a camel?
The question is, Why would anyone want a lion?