Edinburgh Research Explorer

In the name of the whale

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSeascapes
Subtitle of host publicationShaped by the Sea
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter10
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781472424334
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2015

Abstract

A black bear crashed through the dense, ancient undergrowth of Canada’s Meares Island, breaking free and then rising up on its hind legs. It just stood there, very close, and stared at me. On the same coastal trip bald eagles, from their high treetop perches, imperiously observed the comings and goings of an intricate seaway. In age-old ways the heavenly alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth combined to accelerate seawater on the incoming tide through narrow gaps between the archipelago’s many islands, before receding back in the direction from whence it came, to pause only briefly before the tidal cycle begins once more. The pulsating seawater reminded me of the red river of life that courses through my own arteries bringing with it life and renewal. This is no mere metaphor. In bringing these thoughts to the fore and expressing them through words, I am basking in the beauty of conceptual thought, memory and embodiment, and considering what happens when time and space manifest themselves in the present at the cutting edge of experience. On this particular trip, I had been a ‘greenhorn’ in bear country. Anxiety and excitement were never far away. Despite the gentle, soothing lapping of waves onto the nearby shore, I clearly remember lying in a tent unable to sleep because every ‘innocent’ noise seemed loud and menacing, not because of what it was but because of what it might have been.

ID: 16321490