Leela Kingsnorth, inspired by Rebecca Clark's drawings, has written a beautiful reflection on the whale.
My body is long and curved, streamlined some would say. I am covered in scars: thin, unnoticeable. Memories of times gone by.
My fins and flukes: worn, wise. The power of my movement. My eyes: small, so shining, like pebbles wetted by the powerful Sea. The source of
my sight. What I see through them is a long-guarded secret.
I hear the foolish humans speak, sometimes. ‘Isn't that whale really big, all-powerful? Wow! A ruler of the sea!’
Ruler, indeed! The Sea is my home, my creator. I move through her reverently. She blessed me on this earth.
My colour is grey. I look dull in some ways. But it depends on your opinion. Yes, yours. I can see you watching me.
You follow me like one of those silly little fish who crowd behind me always, telling their friends that they will be as big as me some day.
But you are not a silly little fish. I don’t know what you are. A thought, a spirit? I feel I have known you before.
In body I am here, in this ocean, but in mind I am far away.
I see you.
I see you now.
So big, somehow so more important than many other things in the Sea.
Surely we creatures all know that.
Or is it just me?
O wondrous being, remember me?
I never forgot you. I never will.
I will follow you to the ends of the earth, until you recognise me.
Singing! O, how I miss that sound. I remember it. I will never forget it.
In my youth, when my Song was still with me, I sung. And I was sung back to. There is no sweeter sound in the Sea than the singing of a fellow.
I am rare, and so are my friends. I rarely see them in this wide, wide ocean. So it was a treat to sing to each other, that resounding, groaning,
weeping magical song heard through the ocean, and heard still in my dreams.
But one day I tried to sing to a whale I knew was close… and I could not. My voice, my Song had left me.
And because I did not sing, I was sung to no more.
O sweet Song, will I ever hear you again?
You, Strange-Feeling-Following-Me, will not understand such pain, such loneliness that followed the loss of my Song.
You have not known the beauty in a Song.
O sweet Song, why did you leave me?
Song! I have known the beauty in such Song.
O yes, I also know such pain.
Great Sea, why does this huge, woeful silvery beast not recognise me?
Has he forgotten what I meant to him?
No, surely no! If that were the case he would not be so woeful.
O Great sea, shall he not remember me?
Please, wondrous being, remember me!
Am I important? I may be old as the waves, but important? Yes, says Great Sea. But that puzzles me.
If I am so important, why do the humans try to catch me?
Why do the orcas prey on me?
Why do the waves toss me so?
I do not understand.
Great Sea tells me that I am important, but so are the humans. The orcas. And the waves.
Now I understand.
I must be important to you.
And you to me.
Yet, O, you do not understand.
You search for me and mourn for me.
But I am right behind you.
I have known you, Strange-Thing-Following-Me.
I have loved you, so long ago.
But who are you?
I never forgot you.
I never will.
For you are my Whale.
I will hear you again.
I remember you.
For you are my Song.