2004-07-08 / Other News

Chicken Soup For The Soul

Chicken Soup For The Soul

© 2004 Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen/King Features Syndicate

PICASSO OF THE SEA

Wyland©2000

(From "Chicken Soup for the Ocean Lover’s Soul")

Many years ago I was visiting my friends at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys. The director, Mandy Rodriguez, asked if I would like to paint with some of the dolphins. I, of course, wondered how this was going to work and made my way back to a lagoon where, to my surprise, a small group of bottlenose dolphins greeted me with excitement.

As I sat on the edge of the dock and readied a set of water-based acrylic paints, the dolphins became more excited. I, too, was intrigued about collaborating with these highly intelligent mammals. If any animal on earth besides humans could create a work of art, it would most certainly be dolphins.

I passed a paintbrush to a dolphin named Kibby, who took the handle in her mouth. Next, I held up a canvas, and she immediately began to paint with a Picasso flair, laying down each stroke with a twist of her head and, finally, a 360-degree spin. When she was done, she passed the brush back to me and watched as I painted my part.

Two very diverse marine artists, Kibby, the dolphin, and I, the human, shared a single canvas. But we discovered that we also shared something else — the spirit of joy. Together we had created something uniquely beautiful, a one-of-a-kind collaboration between artists of two different worlds. I told my friends on the dock later that it was just the salt that made my eyes water. But they knew how I felt about making such a wonderful connection with one of these beautiful creatures.

When the painting was finished, Kibby smiled a big dolphin grin. She nodded her head in approval of the completed work, then lifted her flukes above the surface and dived. A few seconds later she brought me the highest honor a dolphin can give, a gift from the sea — a rock!

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