I woke up this morning in the still-darkness of night. My cat, Viscosa, was meowing and crying from the loft for some attention. She’s made a new home up there because it is not exactly safe on the main-floor with Henry. I have made a habit of visiting her space more regularly so that she can snuggle and climb on me and feel loved. I like it up there, too. It’s warm and comforting, different than the rest of the cabin, a windowed nest in the pine trees. I climb the wooden ladder to get there and pretend it is a place removed, where time and circumstance can exist, suspended.
This morning I made my ascent in the darkness and laid down on the air-mattress that’s been being used as the guest bed. It’s comfortable and for a moment I pretend I’m floating. My winter cabin is tiny. Although its size has nearly made me crazy in the past, right now I am grateful for its smallness and the way it enfolds me, a soft container, a burrowing place. I am about to fall apart at any given moment, but in blessed wrinkles of time, I feel held by this small structure and all it’s contents. It’s a precarious cradle. I take what I can get, wherever it can be found. These little moments of snugness are like crumbs in a painfully hungry belly.
As I write this, I am wondering what this might be like for you to read. Some of you I’ve known forever, some are almost complete strangers and some of you loved Carl, too. I don’t know why I keep writing here except that it is the one portion of the day that I can count on experiencing a sensation of clarity, if even for a moment. Wordsmithing (or whatever this is)…it feels tactile, like metal or wood or ice. I’ve always tried to keep my posts optimistic. In a way, it was my meager contribution to the world…although, let’s be honest. My facebook posts were a selfish endeavor, a means to a perspective that helped me to continue seeing the positive in my life, even when things were mostly going wrong. It became a discipline, a daily ritual in noticing beauty, even in its simplest form. And now? I no longer remember who I was before all of this. That woman is gone. Replaced by this stranger, this shell of myself. Here I am. Sharing my darkest, most painful moments, vulnerable, stripped down, but still trying to find the beauty, even in this. I pray that I am not upsetting anyone or dragging anyone under along with me. I am writing because it is the only clear space that my spirit can find in all the hours of these long, long days.
This morning, as the cat purred near my pillow, I felt an echoing sound. It was so gorgeous and other-worldly that I didn’t quite trust what I was hearing at first. The sound originated from somewhere in my womb–a whale song–gliding, ricocheting, gracefully hurdling forward through a crystalline shaft of fractured light. The sound propelled itself outward from that deep place inside of me into all of nature, through the pine forest and then diving beneath the surface of the icy lake. The lake outside my cabin is freezing. This ethereal whale song, it is a prayer, maybe even a healing. It is a hope, a communion, a mothering heartbeat that I wish to hold within me. That echoing sound, a celestial passageway, connecting me somehow to all that is, all that was, and all that will ever be.
It sounded a little like this.
WHALESONG :: ~by Denis Martindale
As wondrous as the stars at night,
That shine so bright and strong,
The precious joy that brings delight
Is that the whale has song.
The siren of the sapphire seas,
With tunes so lyrical…
To me, these are the things that please,
With each a miracle…
Perhaps it tames the savage beast,
As one of God’s celebs
That glides below from west to east
Mid music of the depths…
Perhaps not with another whale,
But there and all alone,
With love his only Holy Grail…
Or Philosopher’s Stone…
Like happy humans humming tunes,
Like hummingbirds and such,
The lonesome whale’s seen many moons
And dreams of love so much…
When whalesong’s played, we listen close,
To each new siren call…
There’s only one thing each whale knows,
In life, true love is all…
I love you, Carl.
[originally published Nov 21, 2014}