Wednesday, October 28, 2009
"I realized I had to include a polar bear for reasons beyond their inherent beauty. Polar bears are short-timers on this planet, with probably twenty-five more years before they exist only in zoos. They are the canaries in the coal mine of global warming and their world is being devastated." Jill Greenberg, Los Angeles, Calif.
The beautiful bear on the cover of "Bear Portraits" by Jill Greenberg just takes my breath away. I want to cuddle, hug, and look in Agee's eyes for a much longer time. I am one of those people who would love to live in denial about any angry, ferocious bears. Of course, I know it's more important to look at the wide view picture of the bear's habits. It's a fact. Bears aren't always man's friend. There have been deadly consequences written about in all of our newspapers.
There, I've admitted the truth. Now, I can share the pleasantries. This book is wonderfully put together. All bears photographed are named in the back of the book with their weight and other vital statistics. The names, weight, residence and type of bear make the book warmer to the heart. There is also an assortment of photographs. I think Jill Greenberg wanted to give true observations of the bears not just leave us with the glorified teddy bear that we cuddled and kissed as children and sometimes as adults.
Since the bears are unable to voice their thoughts, Jill Greenberg uses the quotes from famous people like Homer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, D. H. Lawrence, etc. Some of these people. have died and others are still alive. Either way their words made me laugh, gasp, smile or just sit back and think.
Jill Greenberg tells in the introduction how she filmed the bears, where she filmed the bears and a little about her childhood. It's a personal book in every way. I've visited bears in the zoo time after time. During those times I had my children with me, or my feet were hurting or I was just plain tired and hungry. One time I was pregnant. This is to say I enjoyed Jill Greenberg's book a little bit more thanmy visits to the zoo. While holding this light but big book, I can pretend to touch the bears by passing my hands over the glossy pages, close my eyes and think of fur and I can look at the bears any time I choose even at midnight. It is a spectacular book.