Whale Shakti

You speak a language not yet discovered… but I heard you. I saw you appear in my dreams swimming up against a giant aquarium glass, tail swishing, water splashing out… how can a tank hold a whale, the message seemed to say… how can an office doing mindless work in a downtown city satisfy my spirit…

I heard your message when it came across the dreamtime from a friend who called me up to say “I had a strange dream… you were in the water with other people and there were whales there.”

It was the unexpected answer I needed to a question I had asked: “should I go on this whale trip to swim with humpback whales in the Caribbean.”

The deep blue water of the Silver bank was a little choppy that February morning. We were 100 miles from land and the whales were around… we had seen them breaching in tandem, we had heard their haunting undersea language.. we had seen the male escorts following beside the moms and young calfs.  We had even been in the water floating above them, catching sight of these giants with fins open like angel wings. 

We were in the zodiac with our wet suits on.  A whale had surfaced not far from us and the captain said, let’s just cut the engine and wait.  5 minutes went by and there was nothing to see but ocean and soft whispers of the nine others in the boat.  The zodiac bobbed up and down.  We knew he was there but who knew where or if he would surface.  I held my cheap underwater camera steady against the side of the zodiac just in case. 

And then it happened. To our right, no more than 100 feet from us, a giant torpedo humpback whale propelled the surface of the ocean like a missile, soared into the air, fins wide open and landed with a tsunami like wave that rocked the zodiac sending us rocking and rolling and deluged in ocean water in its wake. 

Squeals and cries of joy.  We were fucking lucky. He could have landed right on top of us. 

The force of his impact sent an earthquake through my nervous system.  A force of nature like no other that I had experienced. 

That afternoon, the others were eager to go back on the water, look for more whales.  I retreated to the top bunk of my little cabin to absorb and attempt to integrate the enormity of the whale shakti.  My life was never the same.  The job went away… the cage door opened, the creative force given much more space in my life. 

(For more on this: Watch a video presentation I did titled Whale Shakti and the Paradox of Whale Watching. )

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