Whale Dancer

Tonight I write with no plan, no goal, no structure. I open my desk, take up an ink fountain pen, and let my thoughts flow.

Off the coast of Monterey, California, the sea was cold and fog rose from her breath. The morning was short and tense as the sun rose above the compass engraved upon her salt pier.

The sun was not to fully appear, for the fog was as thick as my ink pen upon this page. I was aboard a science ship, my boots gripping the deck as I walked, my fleece shirt drinking the joining of sea and sky.

Would I see my quarry in the cold fog and rough seas? No. The science students said it was not “whale weather.” So I would sit back and enjoy this, the thing my pen breathes upon this page… my perfection, my happiness, my soul screaming to the sea that I am within her depths and I feel her power. I bend over the side, into the spray, and I tell her that she is my fire. I close my eyes and shout silently from within.

And then she breached. A Humpback in full breach. She joyfully expressed the wonder within her own heart, matching my own, at full breach in cold fog. She was dancing in fog. She was singing in fog. She was embracing the cold. Her calf was nearby, she was as a shout, my ink fountain jar tipping and spilling would-be words across the rumpled pages….the black ink dashing across the page and onto the banks of the salt pier, the decks of the science ship, the surface of the open sea, uncontained.

Then back into the cold fog. Did I see her? Did we share a dance? Did she have one joyful, delighted scream within the depths, as did I, into the spray?

Shadow in fog, you shared my fire.

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