Today I’m feeling a bit like a sturgeon–this sturgeon in particular–and wishing I had a little more Weird Al kind of vibe to make it more fun.
Last summer, on a trip to The Dalles for a delightful Klindt’s Books extravaganza, Mike and I took a walk along the Columbia and saw this sturgeon. It was so huge that at first I wondered how a shark got stuck in the river. We came to a halt to scope it out, and my practical and native Oregonian beau quickly dispelled my shark fantasy.
Belly up and stuck on something on the river bank, the dead sturgeon sloshed back and forth in the water–both grotesque and fascinating. So of course, we took photos.
I call our attention to this sturgeon today because I’m feeling something that I’ve been hearing from many of you, too, and I long for some insight, for a reframe.
Basically, I’m struggling to be present to my own feelings of being belly up, stuck, decaying, but agitated. And so also, of course, I want to poke at it with the same terrible urge that drives anyone to pick at a scab.
Sappho wrote, “If you are squeamish/don’t prod the beach rubble.”
So I guess, today, I’m hoping I’ve got a strong enough stomach for whatever I find.
I wonder if some other beings are walking along some other sort of river bank and gazing down at me scowling and slumping in my office, snapping pictures, finding me equal parts disgusting and intriguing.
It helps somehow to consider myself as the one observed, to take one step away from the agitation, to find some fascination and the ability to ask,
What is this terrible, beautiful mess?
Is she a shark?
What is tethering her to the bank and keeping her from floating on?
In the questions, although I don’t find Weird Al frivolity, I do find my breath going in and out more easily, the sloshing of the water more rhythmic and less nauseating, and the realization that there is a something that’s snagged me a rather liberating bit of information.
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