The undersea realm of impenetrable darkness, icy temperatures, and the crushing pressure of dense saltwater is called the abyss, from the Greek abussos, “without bottom.” The site of the Deepwater Horizon rupture is almost a mile down in this oceanic abyss, where the weight of the seawater exerts pressure of more than one ton per square inch. Here, at the exploded wellhead, BP drill lines bore another three-and-a-half miles into the core of the earth. At this depth unfathomable questions of cause and effect rise unanswered to the surface of the sea.
In the piece Wendy describes her despair over the BP disaster and explores the impossible question of how to respond to such crippling feelings. While we were recording her reading this piece over the phone, Wendy tripped over her words towards the end. When I asked her if she wanted to do it over again to make it smoother she responded, “No I think it makes me sound human, and I like that. If it was perfect people might mistake me for a machine.” Listen to Wendy Johnson’s heartfelt, human response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion here.