Monday, June 01, 2009

Elephant Seal or Force of Nature

Even though I don't know it, I am a female Elephant Seal lying proud in a sea of penguins, my eyes aglint with something akin to panic - something I have never felt. I behold my surroundings in savage awe as my mate, six times my size and weight, puts the leathery fronds of his flipper around my bulging body in a way which a human observer, if any there were, might mistake for heartfelt affection. We, this odd community, are on that remotest of South Sea Islands, MacQuarie Island. Plus ultra. Isolate. Isolated. Isola.

But my mind is blank. If I were truly the author of this then it would be just that - blank - and it would not be. I am governed by those ebbing tides of hormones which, in some far far removed species of bidpedal primate, coalesce and multiply together to create an emergent and mystical multifaceted property known as love.

And as I lie in the rubbery embrace of my gargantuan lover, perhaps that is what I feel: love. Like two of those ultra-evolved primates of plastic behaviour feel across islands and continents in some parts of the world, the built up parts - in buldings, towers, pyramids, castles and agglomerations of dwellings constructed with hands working in concert, with the strength of numbers, as they have done throughout their ages. And, as they have felt sophisticatedly, I now feel primally - an urge which was the foundation of whole civilizations, cultures, worlds - the drive to mate and bear offspring, so that they might do so as well, and theirs as well, and so on. And on. Ever and anon. Perhaps into eternity.

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