Over a week ago, a dead grey whale washed ashore at Trestles, one of the main surf beaches in town. The problem was how to get rid of a creature with a literal dead weight of 60,000 pounds. The tide wasn’t strong or high enough to move it back into the ocean, and of course, the baking sun wasn’t helping the decomposition…at least for the passing public, who seemed as amazed by the stench as the spectacle.
I thought about this problem every day. I don’t know why this caught my imagination so, but I guess I’ve been living with my own problem that seems as strange and large as that whale. I kept checking articles, asking around: what are they going to do about the poor thing? At one point, I read that it was 90% liquid under it’s skin and blubber, so though they had decided to cut it up and remove it to a separate waste facility (the sand too rocky to properly bury it, and the whale too toxic to throw it out to sea—or perhaps they did not want to invite more sharks than already might be interested.)
90% liquid. Gross. But that thought grabbed my mind more than anything else.
When I’m not feeling so tough, distracted by projects and busy-ness—and sometimes when I am— I feel like that. Held together with bones and skin, in all its fluctuating thickness, there are rows of days that if I hear the wrong/right song, remember the right/wrong memory, get into guilt over how much time I’m spending with Vernon/Maki/Justine/myself, driven too many miles back and forth without enough breath between, I might slosh into liquid too…and would that be the end of me? Perhaps there’s a reason, they call it “blubbering.”
There are many other things to write about. Expect more posts soon, but for now…I had to get this off my chest. I haven’t felt inspired to write, but I have felt the need to. So this is discipline and a way of creating space in my liquid brain.
“It is not down on any map; true places never are.”
― Herman Melville, Moby Dick