|EvoGeneao Tree of Life|
I was the blood in the water, and oh -
It felt so good
To run so red.
- From Little Red by Ashe Vernon
At Anchor in the Belly of the Beast
There are places where it all comes together. Where sun and moon drag the sea over granite bones of earth, churning it to froth. Where life and death wrestle in an embrace older and more intimate than love. Where we have had the luck to find ourselves.
Where the World Beast may be glimpsed by we, who dwell in her belly.
At such a place. On such a night. We set anchor at the edge of it all.
We'd been trying to round a vast promontory which bends that send of sea into whorl within whorl of turbulent gyre. Nutrients are churned by that stately violence to permeate the water column. Life blooms and feasts.
Wind had failed our purpose. A storm was coming, but there was a chance we might sail forward in the rising winds of its advance. We sculled into the growing dark and fog and the lee of the current and set anchor at the fringe of a kelp forest.
And oh - the waters ran red.
The hunters were round about. Whales and porpoise. Sea lions and seals. Otters of both land and sea. These, we could hear by breath and bark and song.
Krill ate plankton who in turn lit the waters in auroral splendor, illuminating the kelp. Fish ate the krill, and were in turn consumed. Each moving thing leaving its trail of fire in the water.
And the birds... subdued by the night from their diurnal caucophany, their cries yet pierced the fog.
We sat on deck in the midst of it all, silenced by Music.
A Music whose bass notes shake us to the core. Whose high notes 'most evade the ear. Whose every voice is sung by one who makes its living with its mouth. Whose every note choired a harmony unplanned, but profound beyond human ken.
A Music who calls to our feral selves. To our selves before we sowed the field or built the walls. When we, too, sang our own wild song with our brothers and sisters under the untamed moon.
To our selves before we dreamed we had a self, separate from the World.
But I am a child of civilization, so called. Burdened with the gift of tongues, wagging ceaselessly in my head, I am cut off from direct experience of the World.
A glimpse here and there is all that is vouchsafed me.
There is a joy in knowing - as perhaps no other animal can - that we are all related. That predator and prey are but organelles within a greater Beast.
In our very guts, legions of flora and fauna are wholly engaged in a microcosm of that give and take of life and death which surged around us that night. In our very cells, predator and prey are merged in symbiotic union. And throughout this ferment - underlying all - life's very cipher flows horizontally, entwining the branches of the Tree of Life.
We may call it struggle, red in tooth and claw. The survival of the fittest and the elimination of the weak. War. Our words hand us only what we know.
We do not yet know that we are all One. Always have been.
I, for one, sail to find nights like ours in the dark and fog and seethe of Life.
For just a glimpse.
|Jonah in the WhaleProvenance unknown|