Chapter 135: The Chase — Third Day

Moby Dick is famed for its iconic first line, but the book also has one of my favorite last lines of all time. In “The Chase — Third Day,” Ishmael brings his already intense story to fever pitch, utilizing every narrative tool imaginable. We see high emotions; thoughts of home, family, and life lived; teary goodbyes; prophecy; tumult; romantic descriptions of nature; and of course, symbolic-seeming events, such as an interspersed sequence involving a hawk, Tashtego, and the ship’s pennant. It all seems very epic and important as the Pequod sinks into the sea amidst a cacophony of plot.

And then: “. . . the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.”

Ishmael, of course, survives to float in the vacuum where his world once existed, gone as quickly and ultimately as the close of a book. But then again, all it takes is this one survivor to birth the world anew in a multitude of private universes of reader/listener experience. All the survivor needs to do is speak. It all reminds me of The Neverending Story, minus the dog-faced dragon.

Chapter 135: The Chase — Third Day

You’ll always be the suffering,

Come as a revival of our pride;
Chimneys, volcanic, break our lives
Back to the building blocks, inspired
By the mechanics of each grief.

You’ll always be the suffering,

Come think of the beauty in her eyes;
Think on reflections in your child.
Make for the evening, come what may! —
We’re better in bitter struggling.

You’ll always be the suffering,

(c) and (p) 2009 Patrick Shea
Words and music written by Patrick Shea July 3, 2009
All parts performed, arranged, and recorded by Patrick Shea March 13, 2010