Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

The Read Goes Ever On

Another quiet day. No work, so no earning, so it makes sense to do stuff that doesn't cost anything new. Thus, reading. (I'm reminded of the Simpsons episode where the kids go to a film called Ernest Goes Somewhere Cheap.)

I'm powering through an early 60s short-story collection done as a tie-in to The Twilight Zone, adapted by -- let's see -- Walter B. Gibson. I was rather surprised to find one page neatly missing -- no obvious tearing, just a sheet gone. It's a bruised-and-battered 1968 printing, so damage should be expected, and at least it wasn't the last page of the story ("The Curse of Seven Towers") that was missing...

I also dug out a coffee table book I'd borrowed a while ago, probably over a year ago, from my folks: Wake of the Whale, about whale photographers and researchers and the whales and other marine creatures they track. I'd never read its text (by Kenneth Brower) before now, but as a kid I devoured the photos (by William R. Curtsinger), some of which are surreal and alien and many of which are beautiful.

I've always been drawn to whales; I find their existence comforting. They have power that befits their size and grace that belies it. And knowing there's a kind of intelligence behind those giant eyes that's not exactly like the intelligence we have...well, that reminds me of the variety and grandness of the world. (And yes, I felt all this before humpback whales saved the world by talking to that giant probe in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.) I think I once surprised Alicia with how much I knew about whales, knowledge which I started unloading on her when we visited a traveling exhibit of whale models, including a life-sized orca.

How drawn am I to whales? As a kid I had a recurring dream-image of an island-sized gray whale, off of the U.S. Pacific coast and occasionally close enough to shore that people could see it. And in my dream-world, the whale never got harassed; no one clambered onto it, certainly no one tried to harpoon and kill it. But, at least once, I did swim out to it. And I can still remember that sense, exaggerated by dream-logic, of this vast life and vast intelligence embodied in this vast creature slowly parting the waters. Wake of the Whale reminds me of that.
Tags: books, dreams

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