I am swimming in a massive body of water, a serene ocean – surrounded on all sides. There are other people swimming far in the distance.
I come upon a large, pale, bolder, just below the surface of the water. I rest on top, thinking about how odd it is that this rock is so close to the surface, wondering how ships navigate the area safely, as it can’t be seen from above and it is in the middle of nowhere. The rock feels very, very smooth under my skin. I feel concerned about ships hitting the rock, and perhaps call out to the other swimmers.
The rock shifts, and I see that it’s not a rock at all, but a BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN, now “standing” vertical in the water looking directly at me with a friendly smile and an inviting glimmer in its eye.
I wrap my arms tighly enveloping the dolphins’ firm body, atop its soft bluish skin. My feeling is one of complete comfort and closeness.
The dolphin begins to swim me through the water, slowly and carefully, so that I remain near the surface, and I can take frequent breaths whenever we dip a little below.
The water is warm and clear, the day is sunny, and I am riding along blissfully, hugging the dolphins’ massive body. I feel the animals’ strength and agility through the water – and aware of it always being conscious of my safety and well-being. (As I write these words, I start to cry).
I feel so close to the creature, skin to wet skin – the thickness of its powerful but gentle body – an intimate trust. (I haven’t felt this close to an animal since my dear, also strong and massive, Great Dane “Zuli” passed away).
Then the dolphin and I are up on an old wooden pier. I am standing next to the massive creature, which is on its head, leaning against a wall – its form towering above me.
It looks like a captured fish, upside down; with its crooked head bent weirdly at the neck and its huge body leaning, motionless. I have a thought about how I/someone could kill it for food. (As I write this, I’m not sure of the exact nature of this thought.)
Then the dolphin is on the other side of the pier back in muddy water. Not far away from the pier, I see a “V” shaped vortex of water, spinning and widening – a “whipped up” current of water with a wide “mouth” and a glowing light within– which the dolphin must be spinning to create. It’s creating a beautiful, controlled – magical – water tornado.
Then, there is movement all over the water near the pier. Small dollops of dark muddy water bump up on the surface, as though many small creatures are alive underneath.
I am in the water, reaching for these bumps. I feel a bit unsafe as I get a somewhat creepy feeling, a little nurvious as I realize that I’m in that water not knowing what is making it move. I grasp for one, then two of the muddy bumps – my hands and arms above the water holding only a slimy brown/green plantlike substance.
With some difficulty, I manage to climb and drag myself back up onto the pier. I look out over the muddy water. I can barely see the dolphin just under the surface as it swims away from me in the distance.
I feel worried, as I realize that this must be a lake, and that it may not lead to the ocean – the dolphin’s natural habitat. I feel concerned – will it be all right? I feel responsible for it getting into this water instead of the ocean – but there is nothing that I can do.
Judith Z. Miller
aka Artist Soul Speaks