THE WHALES ARE TURNING
in their sparkling, luminous wake
is so much learning
Vijay the white Tiger in Delhi zoo, Harambe in Cincinnati, the thirteen Sperm Whales on a German beach, and the millions more each day who pass unnoticed, these are the Beings with whom we share our world. Or more appropriately, these are the Beings we forget share their world with us, until something happens. These happenings are the awkward, flailing encounters at the liminal edge of our abject stupidity, and the animal worlds’ bodhisattva tolerance. An entrapped and forced tolerance, that yet and still concludes in these mighty, spirit Beings losing their embodiment, after the loss of their freedom, and, perhaps most tragically, the loss of their own sovereign journey to Source. And for what? For our ludicrous, manic folly – for our frankly capital idiocy.
What is a “zoo” doing in 2016 anyway? The same thing slaughterhouses are I suppose? Or Elephants in temples? Or Rhesus Monkeys in labs? Or the heavier than God kilograms of plastic in the wild Whale’s belly? Even Jonah would not survive in there, not a day, not a night, forget three.
Some months ago, a journey of gatherings began with brother Bayo, writer, lyrical activist and academic Adebayo C. Akomolafe. A journey that has inspired writings, poetry, and considerations for such smiling futures already glimmering through from the collapse of the broken system we used to call civilization. The glimmer that author and activist Arundhati Roy perhaps alluded to in her famous quote of another world’s possibility, the breath of which is heard in quiet. If we can remember what quiet feels like?
In a few hours is a chance to commune with this man who will sometimes make you wonder if he may be from a far, distant, linguistic planet for the adroitness with which he rescrambles the word and language – his is truly a ‘bhavishyavani’ (Sanskrit: ‘bhavishya’ forecast/future/oracle; ‘vani’ speech). Brother Bayo will ministrate a call-in to consider the TURNING OF THE WHALES, an exploration into new ways of engaging the liminality between “us” and “them”.
In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual’s liminal stage, participants “stand at the threshold” between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.
With Bayo and a posse of the bent-on-awakening, it is not anthropology’s liminality that we journey into, not zoology’s either, and nor ritual’s, but all that and more, something more – something that edges around, over, behind, and always a nimble step ahead of definition. In a gathering with Bayo, the liminality is the careening halt you will come upon at the u-turn to yourself. And the realization that the other is the self, and this flux we navigate is all interconnected, intraconnected, much like our old friend that butterfly in Brazil who flapped its wings into the tornado in Texas.
On Bayo’s site is a quote, something written before the experience of his first course, WE WILL DANCE WITH MOUNTAINS – which we all, some ninety-seven of us, thought was a writing course, but discovered that ‘course‘ in Bayo’s world just means a jump off point for throwing beauty, like seeds to the soil of flesh and consciousness.
“Having read Bayo’s work, I am excited by proximity to the specific articulation emerging in his writing. Bayo writes of inter dimensional worlds of understanding, with the ease of expression of a seasoned cosmonaut. His is a rare and emerging talent in these transformational times we live. A handful of writers scale these multiple realities with the joy and triumph of words, language and expression as Bayo does. His writing speaks of a differentiated perceptive ability – one I believe will become more common and familiar as we all evolve at the breakneck acceleration I observe in us as a world community.”
Meeting, speaking, engaging with brother Bayo is as rare a liminality as the joyous banking of a Whale’s tale… and this time it is about Whales and the bounteous othered brethren who share the surface of our great Mother, this planet. I hope you will make the time to join us.
“Our hope for new landscapes will not lie in the centre of the circle to which everyone has turned, but beyond its circumference – in the wilds beyond our fences.”– Adebayo AkomolafePoet. Philosopher. Psychologist. Professor. Passionate about the Preposterous.