Friday, April 30, 2010

Dolphin Daze!

August 19, 1985 Monday

Dear Ophelia,
"Sorry again. I forgot to write. I have to get back into the habit. Mom and I went shopping again. This time I got a white shirt with a neat blue tie and a blue skirt with a colored, paisley button-up.

Now I'm going to tell you about my career. I've decided I definitely want to dedicate my life to animals, the main one being dolphins. I think I want to become either a behavioral zoologist or maybe a mammologist. I wrote to Wade Doak in New Zealand asking him what he thinks would be best. He wrote a book I read called, Dolphin, Dolphin. Right now I'm reading, Lilly on Dolphins, by Dr. John Lilly. It's an incredible book and pretty encouraging. 

This lady, Margaret Howe, studied and lived with Peter dolphin for 2 and 1/2 months. One of my goals is to live with a baby dolphin for 2 or 3 years. I also want to study dolphins in the wild. Dr. Lilly founded an institute in St. Thomas dedicated solely to the communication between man and dolphin. Their brains are bigger than ours. John Lilly feels that instead of looking for aliens in outer space, we should be studying our own aliens in inner space, the dolphins. Their world is completely alien to us. They are the humans of the sea. Anyway, I want to try and communicate with them. I think it's very possible. Bye for now. Love, Jennifer"

Jennifer wrote about her future career before--she was going to be a writer. Her fears and issues with writing made turning to another career pretty easy. She combined her love of animals, her natural curiosity and her desire to find meaning in life all into one new career--dolphin expert! She was excited by Dr. Lilly's research. He believed that eventually people would be able to talk to dolphins. Isn't this every little girls dream--to talk to animals! Well, it was Jennifer's!

Jennifer used to throw open her bedroom door and turn on the light hoping to catch her stuffed animals in the midst of playing a game. She just knew they were magical. She talked endlessly to her pets, willing them to understand her. Jennifer was always seeking, seeking, seeking. It went beyond just her pets, Jennifer was seeking connection.

Humans are not meant to live alone, to feel alone. I think we all seek connection to the point where it ruins us or saves us--just depends on which avenue we use to get there. Lack of connection is worse than an unhealthy connection--this is how so many of us humans get into trouble! Jennifer tried many avenues, God being the last one. Her personal relationship with God finally quenched her need for connection.

August 20, 1985 Tuesday

Dear Ophelia, 
"Today was an incredibly boring day. I watched Santa Barbara (I saw the very first show) and some other stuff. I mailed three letters--Dan, Katie and Cheri. Guess what someone (who shall remain nameless) and her boyfriend, Tom, have started having sex. She told me in a letter. They started around February. At least they are still going out. The guys sounds like a jock that only wants one thing from her, but I guess she likes him a lot. 

Angela came over to pick up some camping gear. She doesn't make me nervous anymore. I guess I'm getting used to her, she's so pretty and funny. Gotta run. Love, Jennifer."

Jennifer's friend, age 15, sought connection and found it with Tom! Jennifer was amazed by her friend. She couldn't relate to two people choosing to have sex on purpose. She thought her friend was too young. Even Jennifer's ex-boyfriend, Chris, chose not to have sex and he was a high school senior! Jennifer was a weird combination of innocent and knowledgeable from her experience at Whale Park. Her brain had shut down. Her body understood life better than her brain did--if that makes any sense! She was still just a little girl with a dream of speaking to animals!

Jennifer got to meet a dolphin in 1996 in Mexico...Jennifer is the one hugging the dolphin!

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