Scylla the Rock

Scylla the Rock
October 28
Rogue Soldier Bad Cop I always believed in redemption through violence until I became crippled and retired. Now I seek redemption through forgiveness. "...fear, that secret fear that follows every professional to the grave. Namely, that one day, out of a past so complex that he himself could not remember all the enemies he might have made, one of them would find him and demand the reckoning."-LeCarre "Men die and they are not happy"- Camus


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DECEMBER 30, 2011 10:56PM

Pure Ablution

Rate: 28 Flag

Breaching Whale 

"The moving waters at their Priestlike task

of pure ablution round Earth's human shores."

-John Keats

The truth is that if not for the poke Brother Thomas would not have dragged me out to sea. 

Tuesday last, bright and humid after the morning winter rain. After the heavy iron after 11:30 daily mass after a forced march with the dogs Thomas decided we really must drive over to his house to check on the mail and feed his cat.  I am in pain and not happy.  Thomas has me on a very short leash right now.  His answer for my depression is hard work, exercise, regular meals, salt water and sunshine.  We drive down off the Wahiawa plain along the coast to Makaha.  Along the way Thomas makes me decline Latin verbs for "mental exercise",  I am horrible at this.  My hard fought for Latin is gone as is most of my German through disuse.  This is a terrible sin to Thomas. 

For a surprise Sarah has our daughter Patri over from the mainland for the week.  Grand, as Patri at 25 is a wonder of Christmas energy and takes over my shopping chores.  A fine lass who makes a wonderful shortbread.

Thomas I and I arrive at his house to find that a neighbor has delivered two pounds of clam and Mahi poke to his fridge.  A gift to Thomas for his assistance in feeding his neighbors during the death and mourning of a family elder.  Poke (pou'kei) is a Hawaiian dish of raw seafood mixed with seaweed, onions, tomatos, flying fish roe and a variety of spices.  A poke recipe is kept secret to a family, though Thomas is determined to crack the code of great poke.  Thomas is a grand cook with a wonderful stock pot always at hand and more ability with food then I might tell.  As we munch on this fine dish Thomas tells me that he has it figured out, so let's make some poke.  First we need some fresh fish, so we load Thomas's two man Sea-Kyak into his truck.

Ka'ena state park is a mile or so north of Thomas's house.  It has a fine sandy beach and swimming area, about 200 metres off shore is a great reef, dark and full of fish. It is to the reef we paddle with our masks, snorkels and spears powered by thick rubber bands.  Thomas likes fins while I prefer just reef shoes as one can stand above the water on much of this reef.

Along the way we debate the seriousness of Van Morrison's "Moondance" and it's use in wooing the fairer sex.  Thomas dismisses the song as commercial pap really unworthy of Van and his craft, while I defend Van and the song as a "one-off" and a "never fail" whenst it comes to wooing.  Thomas, ever prepared as my older brother to keep me humble, hits me with, "Really? That's your argument?  Your wild sucess with women?"  Sarcasm quite cold. Thomas the Cassanova.  Rotten bastard.  Oh, he's correct but still a bastard. (In my defense "Moondance" did work on Sarah)

Spear fishing is a fine sport except that the blood of each fish tends to signal every local shark in for a meal.  Brother Thomas has defeated this by getting a tattoo of the Hawaiian shark God, Aumakua on his calf.  Aumakua who saves every Hawaiian from the bite of the shark.  I might be relieved except that he had the Tiger shark outlined in black but the rest inked in the plaid colours of our Clan tartan.  So much for the Gods.

We reach the reef.  As we begin to sort our equipment we suddenly see and hear a destruction of gravity and the sea.  A hundred metres out we witness a whale breach the sea and return.  As we both stare, dumbstruck, the wave caused by the creature almost upsets the Kyak.  Then a "blow", 20-3o feet into the air.  Then another.  We are shocked, speechless.  Another Humpback breaches the pull and gravity of the sea, 30-40-50 tons into the air.  The splash and wave is strong and hits us. Then another.  We sit transfixed.

We are well past the breakers and we stay.  Immobile to the creatures at hand.  Thomas points north, "another pod coming fast!"  He is right, though "pod" is the wrong term.  For these are most likely males chasing a gal with whom they would like to mate.  I tell Thomas that the males should whale song "Moondance" to capture a female.  He wacks me in the head with his paddle.

We sat there paddling in position over two hours watching these whales.  The size is amazing, the power of each breach a thing to bring one to God.  That feeling of adrenline and awe and smallness.  Strong to make your limbs shake and tremble.  The same feeling as I first witnessed Sarah, as each of my children was birthed naked and screaming, a pounding in the chest and a dryness to the mouth, the power of combat and of knowing that every day forward nothing will ever be as it once was.  Beautiful.

A thing to remind me that life is always a love without end.

Happy New Year everyone! 

"Well it's a marvelous night for a moondance

 with the stars up above in your eyes.

A fantabulous night to make romance

'neath the cover of October skies."-Van Morrison






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This is a great post, Scylla. And I think Thomas is a genius. Happy New Year!
Thank you my dear. Thomas is that and more. A grand New Year to you.
This was truly enjoyable to read. Scylla, you are certainly blessed to have a friend such as Thomas.
I Love Life- I am blessed indeed. Happy New Year to you and yours. Thank you for reading.
Talk about right place, right time, and you guys calm enough to sit for the whole experience. Totally cool. Also, Moondance is what triggered my small interest in Van Morrison, though it was never used in the manner you suggest.
phyllis45-It was a wild grand thing. After 16 years I still play Moondance for Sarah, fine and romantic as it is. Thank you for reading. Happy New Year.
Wow...what a cool post! The words brought vision, nice-nice!! Your Thomas sounds like my Timmy! Aah.. brothers. Miss them. Happy New Year to you out there!
May humpbacks ever breach the oceans of your life!

Happy New Year!!
"Moondance" spins it right up. Let no one tell you different.

Whales know things. Do does Thomas. (Except for his opinion of the song...) Happy New Year, Scylla!
What a grand post! (stole your word Scylla). I love the Brother Thomas series writing, like a sick, fun, scathing Hardy Boys..
Your writing is so visual I see the tattoo and the feel the waves.
Glorious one Scylla, Happy New Year, yes, you are alive..
The feel of the waves of course..
And all the nights magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush...

It's a classic. Enjoyed this tale, Scylla. Have a good year.
This was simply wonderful. Thanks for sharing that awesome experience with the whales! "A thing to remind me that life is always a love without end." Happy New Year.
"..the power of combat and of knowing that every day forward nothing will ever be as it once was. Beautiful."

i loved that line... seeing the beauty in combat.
... yeah, i loved that
Goddamn! Ha! The intervention is working on our os God of pain.
He is lightening up and giving us his awe.
“I tell Thomas that the males should whale song "Moondance"
to capture a female. He wacks me in the head with his paddle.”

But…moondance is about a dance on the moon.
The moon is the female turf. No man allowed.
So he

“ trying to please to the calling
Of your heart strings that play soft and low”
It is indeed a mating call, as u say…for here is the hope….

And when you come, my heart will be waiting
To make sure that you're never alone
There and then, all my dreams will come true, dear
There and then, I will make you my own

And she may or may not come.

As for your rehab, eat the shortbread, get fatter, enjoy the love coming
Down on you like a hard rain, boyo.
I really like how that sounds and what it conjures, " A love without end."

Very much enjoy the posts where Thomas shows up.

Happiest New Year to you, Scylla.
A mesmerizing piece, Scylla. Knowing that every day forward nothing will ever be as it once was must be the key to the wisdom of living each moment to the fullest .

May your 2012 be full of love, endless.

Oh, Scylla, so happy am I to read this most grand post of yours. I am absolutely BEAMING!

'Tis a grand post indeed, my dear and wonderful friend. A true gift from you to us.

Thank you, Scylla.

A thing to remind me that life is always a love without end.

YES!!!!! YES!!!!! YES!!!!!!
jamie smithie l.d.-"Brown Eyed Girl" is my back up for Sarah as her eyes slay mortal men. Thank you.

The Songbird-Brothers are indeed a wonder unto themselves.

skypixeo-And might they breach yours as well. Thank you for reading.

Linnnn-Moondance is a wonder as is Brother Thomas. I can forgive his Philistine opinion of Moondance as he is pure love in so many ways.
rita- A sick, fun Hardy Boys, yep that's us a couple of late forties fun Hardy Boys. Some day we might have to grow up...until then we're in it for the sun and surf and fun.

Matt Paust-May you have a grand year also. Thank you.

Firechick-Thank you lass and a wild Happy New Year to you.

lorianne-Thank you I'm glad you enjoyed this.
Sir James-The intervention is a fine course of love. Shortbread is the food of the God's.

fernsey-Thomas is a wonder and power unto himself. A grand brother. Thank you and all the best to you and yours this new year.

seer-Thomas is a fine man and a loving brother. Without him I would be lost,

FusunA-Thank you and all the best to you and yours this new year.
Little Kate-Thank you my friend, you are always too kind. Happy New Year! (in a few hours)
: )

Yep... happy new year, friend.
"life is always a love without end." That's my favorite line in the post. How wonderful to read this. Thank you for sharing it.
Oh, so very beautiful and transcendent! Wishing you & your loved ones a happy & healthy 2012, Scylla the rock.
Humpbacks by kayak - oh so tremendous. I am happy you got this gift.
So beautifully written I felt like I was there in the boat with you.
I saw this happen outside the house I rented in Kona and it was like the earth moved in a little different way than I was used to.
Whales are such magnificent creatures. Pure love
rated with love
I'm late as usual but want you to know how much I loved spending this morning with you!! So beautiful! I have sat in a small boat and had a whale swim under...and swim...and swim...forever it seemed until it passed by it was so huge and magnificent! And Moondance has always worked for me!!
This is a lovely piece and just reading it makes me feel happy and free. The whale is a very powerful symbol, you were truly most blessed to be visited. The whale is the record keeper for eternity, as the great singers and they're also a symbol to listen to your intuition or in-sight.

Oh my, I never even noticed Moondance was a romantic song. I thought it was about night's magic "All the night's magic seems to whisper and hush" I'm so glad both you and Sarah heard the magic, and incredibly happy to read this post.
My dear friend, I hope you are finding your feet again. What a joy to read. Love and laughter to you and yours. (and big hugs for those pups)

Sounds like Thomas is a fine person. I am so proud to have that as my middle name. I love all the creatures of the sea too.
Or as much as I can.

Moondance works for me.
thought I would check in; this is super! hope you are well!
Hi, Scylla. Hope you are enjoying this early spring and that all is well.
3 months late...
I saw a documentary on Hawaiian tattoos. Brother Thomas is a fearless man.
You witnessed God's grace.
Hope you are well
I hope one day I get to watch some whales too. Marvelous post here.

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