Black Ice – Renewal?

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Last night She came –

I heard her call

my name.

She broke through

sea green waters,

white capped waves,

blocks of black ice.

My body hummed her song.

And yet I mused..

Who was She,

this ancient denizen

of the Deep?

 

Whale songs so complex –

so poorly understood

lead me down

Down

Down

Down

to the bottom

of the sea…

 

To learn how to Breathe ?

To dive into unknown depths?

To stand unbearable pressure?

To re –surface unharmed?

To breathe sweet water in too thin air?

To keep on advocating for Earth?

To hear to the Heartbeat

of Creation Sounding?

 

These are questions

I pose to Whale

in her bountiful Soul Skin –

velvety smooth

and firm.

 

In Indigenous story

an old woman

stands at the edge

of tidal waters –

patiently,

watches for whales

to surface –

walks into the sea

when she hears them calling.

 

A Star

shines in the East.

The Great Bear

points true North.

Perhaps

Whale comes to me

from the ocean

to guide my aging body home.

 

Working notes…

 

The Little Bear Moon is waxing according to some Northern Indigenous mythology… This is the month Black Bears give birth to their cubs. Wide awake and alert, these wild mothers care deeply for their young while staying snug in winter caves or dens dug under piles of stone or tree roots. The winter stars are bright and the Great Bear circumnavigates the sky each night.

 

When I dreamed of a great whale rising out of the sea. –“Someone” who was “familiar” to me – I was surprised – although my love of whales stretches to childhood when I first saw the Great Blue Whale’s skeleton in New York’s Museum of Natural History. On Monhegan Island, as a “fishermans’s wife,” I longed to touch the skin of these mammoths that often approached our boat while it was idling. Sometimes they lay just under the surface right next to the boat, as if they knew we were a safe harbor. It never occurred to me then that the whales might have come with a message for me.  Later that fire was re –kindled in the 70’s by Judy Collins’ whale songs. In the nineties I dreamed that the sea pulled away and I was walking on the bottom of the ocean searching for a golden dolphin ring. More recently, my fascination with Helen Hye-Sook Hwang’s scholarly research on whales, and my friend Lise’s profound life changing experience with these mammals has brought them back into the center of my awareness.

 

There is something compelling about dreaming of a whale surfacing from the deep while living in a drought driven high desert.

 

And yet whatever this Presence signifies for me personally is overshadowed by the collective need on behalf of all humans to start listening to the songs that all of Nature is singing or screaming before the Great Silence descends upon us stilling each song and cry forever.

 

The age of the Anthropocene is upon us, that is, an age that is totally shaped by humans. Without immediate intervention to stop this man made holocaust we will soon be the only surviving species left on Earth. According to the WWF Global Wildlife’s 2018 report the Earth’s wildlife population has dropped by 60 percent since 1970.

 

Some species have become ‘functionally extinct’, meaning that although at present the species is still extant, there are not enough individuals left to save the species from its eventual demise. Monarch butterflies are a good example – their populations have dropped by 90 percent in the last 20 years.

 

Unimaginable loneliness is coming our way.

 

We can start by dramatically lowering carbon emissions to help preserve the non-human species that still have a chance to survive.

 

We can plant millions of carbon sequestering trees…

 

We can protest our continued use of plastics.

 

Just to give the reader a few ideas…

 

Think about it. It is through our love of, and for Nature that most humans experience a sense of “renewal.”

 

Where will you go when the Silence of Nature becomes deafening?

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