Re whale songs and elephant loves: For me, one of the most beautiful books about elephants is Romain Gary's The Roots of Heaven. I have always loved elephants and I am not only drawn to them, but I sculpt them and was in fact, looking at one of my ceramic elephants just before reading this beautiful interview on Speaking of Faith.I did know about whales, that they communicate for a long distance but I didn't know about this about high frequency sounds and elephants. I was thinking about this very topic the other night when we had a mighty storm here on the Cape, in New England, and one could clearly hear the wind whistling. I was thinking about how animals hear sounds we do not pick up, and about the sensitivity of other antennas. We are surrounded by the souls of animals, and we are in same but different worlds of more than just sensory experience.
I would say there are so many moments that shape a life, and that we do remember some with an almost photographic kind of clarity, and the very special times do precipitate out in our lives, and these times follow us through life and do inform our lives.
For me it was a kind of epiphany that had to do with letters, as I saw the Hebrew letters made out of rainwater, shining in the moonlight, after I had attended a class in Kabbala, Jewish mysticism. This was a shared experience as I and my friend Sarah saw this together. I have never forgotten this, and as it has happened, my life seems dominated since by an increasing awareness of the words, and letters, and I feel gifted in seeing something very deep about words themselves, and how they do reflect in our lives in deep and unexpected ways.
For me, since this beautiful interview was about elephants and whales, I will say, that elephants have been a part of my life for a long long time. I am attracted to them as I have said. I found a beautiful holiday card that showed a mother and baby elephant walking by a woodland and the caption read, In Step. There is something about elephants, about how they care for each other, about a kind of humanity in adopting children who are abandoned when their parents are injured, their burial of the dead, their social structure. And then there was this terrible poaching of elephants for ivory. And I am so aware of ivory in piano keys, And for me the true key in all this is compassion, and if keys are about music, then why do we kill to create music, a creature so wonderful, so noble, so more than, human?
For me I guess life has taught many lessons about humanity and inhumanity, and maybe it was the critical events that plunged me into despair as a child, because I was so criticized by my father for so many little things. He said he wanted perfect, but nobody can be perfect. And what is, perfect? But this drew me inwards, and to go inwards is to meditate on what it is to be human, to think about identity, and for me, to be on the cutting edge of a father's criticism, as parents are for a child, so often their first gods, well, maybe this had so much to do with a burgeoning and total spirituality and questioning of what it is, to be alive, and where meaning is to be found.
I look forward to reading other submissions. I think this is such a wonderful program!
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