Monday, 9 March 2015

"52" the whale - lonely or a loner?


The very talented Kristin Rule alerted me to a fascinating story the other day about a solitary whale that doesn't sing at the same frequency as other whales. Called 52 because that's around the frequency it sings, it has never been found although its voice has been heard (by us, not by other whales).

Inspired by 52's story (and because she's a creative genius) Kristin retuned her cello to 52's frequency and composed a beautiful piece of music that you can hear on Kristin's website (the link at the top of this post) or here.

What a fabulous idea!

I googled 52 the whale and found all sorts of articles. 52 has been dubbed 'the world's loneliest whale', and Kristin contemplates this idea on her site.

Isn't it funny how humans like to assume other creatures feel the way we do about things? Is 52 lonely? Or is 52 simply alone, independent, fearlessly traversing the oceans singing its heart out for the simple joy of being alive and free?

Loneliness is a terrible thing but it's my contention that it's a lot easier to be lonely in a crowd than it is when you're alone.

I used to ride my motorbike everywhere - usually by myself - and it used to bug the crap out of me when people asked if I got lonely riding by myself. Nope. Loved every second of it. Starting when I wanted, ending where and when I wanted, stopping for a break if and when it suited me - time to have the headspace I craved to think and create, to be alone with my thoughts and to enjoy the scenery. I found it energised me, short-circuited my anxiety and made me feel absolutely at peace. I got to see some lovely places and developed a lot of self-confidence as well - bonus!

I get similar benefits just living here in Mallacoota, and perhaps that's why I don't do a lot of motorcycling any more - I don't need to (although when I get around to it I still enjoy it a lot). Living here I spend a lot of time alone but I am never ever lonely. Like 52, I sing my own song, and for me it's a very positive thing.

Thanks for introducing me to 52's story, Kristin, and for getting me thinking!

Go here to support the project to find 52.

Oh, and if you're of the opinion that maybe 52 doesn't want to be found (it remains elusive, despite first having its song recorded in 1989) then at least consider supporting the scientists who are researching the way that acoustic pollution is harming whales. Find out more here


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