Saturday, June 2, 2012

Visiting the Bones

"It's June the 2nd," Haimona said today, when I told him about the whales singing off the Pallinup inlet two days ago. "They're bang on time."

Two years ago when a pod stayed in the Sound for months, rolling away their barnacles and showing off their babies, I sat at a cafe eavesdropping on two men at the next table.
"So, what are you up to for the rest of the day?"
"I'm visiting my Mum, then going back to work. Then I'll see the whales on my way home." As well as work, visiting Mums and whales had become part of folks' daily itinerary. Dontcha just love it?

Over the spring of this year, I've taken to visiting another pod of whales who stranded and died on a beach east of here twenty years ago. It has been a mission to find their graves again and my visits have evolved into a habit of the more nocturnal variety.

 The flex and surge of those spines moved the massive bodies of the whales through oceans. I can only guess at their memories.

I love visiting these whales. They have been long dead but I only have to lay a hand on one vertebrae to hear their journeys. I feel the spine that swam their bodies through whole oceans to Antarctica and back ...



  1. Oh, poor whales. I can understand why the bones appeal to you so much. I feel the urge to reach out and touch them to hear their stories as well.

  2. Whenever I see bones I want to do something with them, make something out of them. It's not disrespect, maybe just a primal thing.

  3. They are beautiful to touch and visit. I couldn't make anything of them that is more gorgeous than what they are already but I'm not a sculptor MF.

  4. Taiaha from the rib and rei puta from the teeth for a wahine toa.

  5. That last pic is awesome Sarah. I could do something with that.