I floated lazily downstream on a makeshift raft I had created, the hot afternoon sun tanning my young skin, bees buzzing the honeysuckle that grew along its banks, a green-eyed dragonfly hovering before my hand-shielded face. There weren’t any other sounds for miles, just the running water emptying into tranquil pools that slowed the raft and spun it slowly before picking up a mesmerizing speed again in the shallows. Overhead, the sky was cloudless and translucent blue. My thoughts were lost in its vastness. Only my heel touching the lukewarm water brought me back to Earth.
I had that memory last night, watching television: how different it was from the reality of another world. Children, as young as I was then, scrambled for footing on the muddied banks of a Faroese island, grappling with their elders for the ropes that had caught a pilot whale in his death throes. The animal, groaning in agony, his head gruesomely severed behind the blowhole, thrashed violently in the blood-tainted waters, among his dead and dying companions, but to no avail. [Read more...]