Springy as a Waterbed

Jonah. © Chris Bronsk 2015.

“After the first few hours he came to feel quite at ease inside the belly of the whale. He found himself a dry, mildly fluorescent corner near one of the ribs, and settled down there on some huge organ (it was springy as a waterbed). Everything—the warmth, the darkness, the odor of the sea—stirred in him memories of an earlier comfort. His mother’s womb? Or was it even before that, at the beginning of the circle which death would, perhaps soon, complete? He had known of God’s mercy, but he had never suspected God’s sense of humor. With nothing to do now until the next installment, he leaned back against the rib and let his mind rock back and forth. And often, for hours on end, during which he would lose track of Ninevah and Tarshish, his mission, his plight, himself, resonating through the vault: the strange, gurgling, long-breathed-out, beautiful song.” —Stephen Mitchell, “Jonah,” Parables and Portraits

(from an ongoing series on Boston transit passengers)

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