So, I’m at the zoo looking at an ape. The ape, from the other side of a glass wall, is staring back at me. We are inches apart. The ape knows I am present; we look each other in the eye.
I can’t help wondering what this awesome creature is thinking. If it is thinking anything at all. For a few moments, we are both lost in contemplation of each other. Soon enough, a loud child, a loud child’s well fed female carer and a veritable coterie of other yawping humans break our inter species reverie. The moment evaporates. I head off for a cup of coffee, a change of camera battery and a drive home.
At home, I switch on my laptop just in time to catch a few Mars Rover pictures and some live feed footage from the International Space Station; the ape, remains in its enclosure.
It occurs to me that the ape has no conception of my life beyond the glass. It might recognise my face should I return to the zoological park. It might even have some notion that there is a wider world beyond the confines of its bijou realm, but it does not, and could not know of the wonders of my world.
Looking again at pictures of space, I ponder on the wonders awaiting discovery beyond the nearest stars I can experience by way of my puny senses. And then, I ponder again. If the ape can not know of my world, is it so peculiar an idea that some being beyond my own comprehension might be viewing me with some passing interest? What if, what if, what if…