52 Hertz: Loneliness, No More!

in Life Beyond Medicine by

I was reminded of this story that I had read in the NY Times an age ago. its about a whale that meanders the waters of the world, all alone.

Unlike others of his ilk, this whale has been uniquely disadvantaged. Here is what one desperately touched blogger had to say about it:

Unlike all other whales, she doesn’t have friends. She doesn’t have a family. She doesn’t belong to any tribe, pack or gang. She doesn’t have a lover. She never had one. Her songs come in groups of two to six calls, lasting for five to six seconds each. But her voice is unlike any other baleen whale. It is unique—while the rest of her kind communicate between 12 and 25hz, she sings at 52hz. You see, that’s precisely the problem. No other whales can hear her. Every one of her desperate calls to communicate remains unanswered. Each cry ignored.

As much as I want to know what happened to that particularly unfortunate mammal over the last 7 years, this post is not about him. Its spurred by a rather remarkable evening.

I just realized that I was becoming like that whale. The slight difference being that I was pushing people away of my own volition. While human relationships are some of the most complicated and messed up things ever – ask Adam and Eve – they are also, as it often is with addictive inebriants, hard to stay off of. I have always considered that it is much easier to build a wall around myself and distance myself from close interpersonal relationships. The way I saw it is that if no one got close enough, no one got hurt. But the fact was, I was also letting a lot of joy slip out of my life, as it passed me right under my nose.

Right now my life is in a state of flux and alteration, and nothing seems stable, unchanging. Yet, at this time only, the need to find that one fulcrum of stability is the thing that keeps one going. That keeps one sane. I hope I have found mine.

The basic debate was whether I wanted a series of lonely days of staying safe, cooped up in my self-woven cocoon of safety while time whistled past me cackling cacophanously with contemptuous joy to define my life, or whether I was going to take the plunge, go in with both feet, safe in the knowledge that it was exactly what I wanted to do. I guess I have taken the plunge…

And with that plunge comes the inevitable company of an unbridled joy, an overcompensating deluge of love and an impeccable feeling of being complete. I refuse to worry about chasing the end of a rainbow fearing whether I shall reach or not, for, I have discovered that the real joy lies in the chase.

The journey is begun. And the joy is in the travel.

P.S.: I know you do not approve of what this video represents, but I impel you to listen to the words beyond the words, and you will know why I put it up…

Skeptic Oslerphile, Scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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