Our Breath In The Whale
19 Portraits By Jaret Ferratusco
The road less traveled brought us onto the beach and out past the safe area where you can still feel the sandy floor of the sea. So far out into the water that land was impossible to make out anymore. We would drown or be saved. From below in the limitless darkness of a world closer to the center of the earth, came a vast creature that swallowed us up for good. Over time, moments of introspection became less and less frequent, our few memories of what it was like above the water turned otherworldly, and our time spent inside the belly of the whale brought us to the gradual decision not to do what had been asked of us from above. We did not get down on our knees, asking to be saved, or for others to be saved. Instead, we held onto the idea that things could be different for ourselves. Wearing the same noncommittal blankness over our faces and the same salt-eroded skin around our skeletons, we became unified and self-same, trapped safely inside along with the ghosts of everyone else who may have done the same before us. Inevitably at our last moments, we might see our words made physical in clouds of frost within the convulsing velvet walls closing in on us. And after we say good-bye, it will be easier to get on with the rest of it. Passing out in the belly of a whale.