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Cetacean Creed Imagine our fantasies about them are true, that they really had refined their songs into a melody of words, merged their herds into tribes, invented politics, became aware of death, and now yearn for a faith. All their feelings are expressed lyrically and through the flux of pressure waves. Comrades swim in tight formation. Soon a whale messiah, a supreme bard, summons the wayward, singing that none should swim alone, each should buoy the other in his slipstream. In a world of motion, this messiah's call travels the deepest currents across the oceans, and all whaledom gathers and sways as he moves, and is anointed by the gentle touch of his fluke. The common prayer, a breach into the air. They feel the winds which, by their creed, sail upward to the inverted blue sea. The clouds are worshiped as the sprays of ancestors. Purgatory is the rocky shore, the shoals pressed hard against their breasts in a world where hardness is unknown except at the end of their lives. But their bard sees beyond the dry terrain to the most distant shore where the heavenly sea curves down to the land. He sings of their loved ones who have washed ashore, those ancestors who crawled on earth, their sins scraped away by sand and stone till they reach the horizon of the heavenly sea. There they rise again, swimming upward, breaching, spouting, filling the air with clouds, while below those left behind swim together with their bard. In their world the living and the eternally living swim in tandem across parallel seas.
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