Ah, before I forget. When I leave here (so soon!), I will leave behind some physical memory prompts. Each morning, Boris chooses which direction we walk. When he chooses to walk up the hill past the church, I remember the whale story. And each time we walk by, I think - I should write that whale story here, before we leave, before the landscape doesn't prompt it anymore. And so, before I forget, here it is.
To get the real meaning and sense of this story, you really do need a little background. I tried to make it easier on you, to find a way to put the text right here, but all I could find was this and it won't let me copy and paste. You will need to pop over and read it. Just this brief little story of the whale, from Andrew Harvey's Hidden Journey. Read it, then come on back.
So one early morning, maybe last winter I think, Boris and I were out for a walk. I was railing at the universe, annoyed at how not clear things are. That if I were Loved, as is sometimes suggested, then it needs to be more obvious and constant, not this fickle garbage, not this obtuse sideways love.
You want to show me you love me? Give me a whale, then. Allegedly, you have done these kinds of things before. You have the universe do crazy things, beautiful waves of love via whale. So where's MY whale? You Love me? Then where's my whale? Where is my whale?
And you know what? It needs to be a CLEAR whale. Not some vague, yeah, I guess that maybe sort of is a vaguely whale shaped rock or cloud formation. You're out there? You love me? Fine. You show me my whale. A bumper-sticker shaped like a whale that says something like "Megan's whale" or "the whale of mmd" would be awesome. Clear and direct.
So I am wandering down the street like this, demanding my whale. You know where this is going, right?
Boris and I are passing the Polish Catholic church. Next to the church is a small garden where a statue of the BVM stands, her arms outstretched. ("BVM" - that's blessed virgin mary). I often nod at her as I walk by. From the opposite side of the street, I nod at the mama, direct a "you show me my whale" thought at her, and turn back to the sidewalk ahead. My eye catches something just beyond us, scooting around the corner.
It's a bird. A quite larger than song-bird bird. Boris and I approach the intersection here, just past the church and the garden, and I stand for a moment watching the bird scratch at a bare spot of grass. It's not a bird you'd see in downtown portland. Not a bird you'd see here at all, especially not in late winter, roaming around the sidewalk just after dawn. Upland ground birds just don't live around here.
I keep walking. Two steps, maybe three. And then I stand there, mouth open, eyes wide.
It's a quail. You gave me a quail. A q-whale.
I asked. No, I demanded. And three steps later, there is a quail. Love, plus comedic timing, plus a little play on words.
I saw that bird only one more time, though I have looked for it since. It was perched high in the eaves of the rectory, within the gates of the church and garden, tucked in and puffed up against the cold. Each time Boris directs our walk this way, I look up at the eaves, and I snort a little laugh at the BVM. Good morning mama. Thanks for the qwhale. Before I forget, thank you for the qwhale.