Sperm Whales

I have the mind of a magpie; anyone in my path is likely to get the spew of my interest. Tonight I think of sperm whales. Magnificent creatures, deep divers, fierce hunters, subject of fiction enduring.

There are worms that live only on the carcasses of whales that have sunk to the ocean floor. There is dystopian fiction which has “lower than whale dreck” as its catchphrase. The whales dive to the bottom of the sea to eat squid that they must take on faith are there. I am a diver: I know the feeling of  a column of water between me and the air, and between me and that which I want.

Yet I will never know what the whale knows; the sustenance to be found far from other, equally necessary substances. I am a simpler creature–I understand thirst, hunger, and the need to breathe, but I am not capable of sustaining myself by separating them widely. I cannot speak to others forty miles distant without a great deal of technology; the great whales can click through their heads and complex nasal passages to tell others what they think.

I have to dirty the page or to speak aloud with the aid of technology to spread my thoughts: doubt creeps in that the produce is worth the effort or the proliferation of technology. And yet, I click, and hope that someone on the other side will hear.

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