There is a haunting symmetry in the deaths of Richard Russel & Tahlequah’s calf. The barrel roll of a suicidal pilot mirrored in the diving mother, retrieving her baby to carry her to the surface again & again.
He said he was ‘just a broken man.’
Her salmon runs are broken.
What I did not realize was that he had sought her in his final hours…
In audio with Sea-Tac air control Richard Russel remarked how beautiful the mountains were. Then he exclaims:
“Hey, I want the coordinates of that orca, you know that mama orca with the baby? I wanna go see that guy.”
Twenty years ago I wrote the story of Elba Gallagher, a narrative about the collapse of technology and a dystopian landscape that stretched from the Duwamish River to the edge of Goldendale, filled with sub-librarian bikers and cloned circus kids and government time machines. Time caught up with me and now we live in a different kind of dystopia. Parable of the Sower haunts everyone since the election.
Maybe we should stop writing dystopian literature…are we are conjuring it into being? Maybe now it is time to write stories about men with unbroken hearts and salmon runs as dense as the river can hold.