On ExpertiseElizabeth Bradfield
Adding it up, it seems I've lectured to at least six thousand people—day upon day upon day in season— and still I know nothing about whales. How do they come together and then part? What does the force of water against their rorqual pleats feel like when they lunge up through a ball of bait? Like running full out to the end of a leash? Like a blast in mouth from a service station air hose? I know I would gladly stand again and repeat my facts of length, weight, and anatomy. I'd pay again the price of repetition, of showmaking in order to find them each day, if we can, in the bay watch listen smell shearwaters guttering in their froth. I know nothing—but what could I ever know, no matter the abstracts and whalers' logs. What other than my own unscientific surge at the latin in my mouth, the epic chronology, the anecdotes, the recognized flukes, the flex of pectorals as they fall to slap the water, megaptera novagilae—if I tasted you, if I swam your migration, if I tuned my ear to your song, even then.
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