The Catalyst

A Writing Teacher Writes (plus some writing prompts and recipes)

Message from the Deep Blue July 31, 2015

Filed under: Vignettes,Writing Prompts + — Christopher P. DeLorenzo @ 12:26 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Tonga2For this prompt, I played a short audio piece of humpback whales and the sounds they make while communicating. You can find many of these, as well as other whale sounds and songs, by doing a simple search on the web.

The link I used is here:

What I wrote is below.


The whales and the elephants must have separated at some point; their calls are similar. Their pods and families are wide.

I thought of this as the tour guide dropped the microphone into the sea and the whales sang out an eerie, ancient cacophony of squeaks and moans and clicks. It both fascinated and frightened me.

Who are these huge creatures? The ones who thank human beings for releasing them from fishnet entanglement, who swim up to each diver and touch him or her with their dorsal fins afterward, the ones who follow boats all the way back to harbor breaching the whole way, saying thank you, thank you, thank you. Or the elephants, who travel 22 miles to pay their last respects to a man who studied them and lived among them. How did they know he was dead? And how did they know a tidal wave was rushing toward an Indonesian fishing village? They ran for the hills, picking people up as they went and placing them on their backs.

I’m fascinated by the tiny organisms, too: the little grey bugs no bigger than pencil flecks that crawl across a page of notebook paper while I am writing, or the little moth who lands on my desk at night, eyeing me. The ladybug who has to be helped back outside. But those huge creatures—whales and elephants, rhinos and giraffes—they fascinate me more. How does it feel to move in that great body, in that huge ocean? What does it feel like to turn off half your brain to sleep? I ask myself this and wonder.

Am I coming too late to this, too, this love affair with whales, the same way I came late to coconut water and gluten-free flour? Did I somehow miss the whale song re-mixes, the feeling of having them so close all this time?

That morning, with the sun rising behind the cliffs on Maui, I felt honored to be on the cool water with my fellow whale watchers, all of us silent and sleepy, walking carefully on the deck, using the handrails. After so many student essays filled with saddening statistics about swirling gyres of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, and sea birds with bellies full of bottle caps, I floated on the pristine waters of a marine reserve, thankful for what was still there, what still remains on this blue, blue planet.


One Response to “Message from the Deep Blue”

  1. terrilma Says:

    sweet connection- good timing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s