“One morning, I unexpectedly awoke from a beautiful dream. I was on a cruise ship, it was early in the morning, the sun had just started to come up. I went outside onto the main deck. I walked to one side of the ship. I leaned against the rail and watched the pastel hues of pinks, blues, and oranges, dance gloriously on the ocean’s soft currents. It wasn’t often I got up to see an early morning sunrise and certainly had never seen one this beautiful. Upon a second glance at the water, I was stunned by what I saw. Within the glittering ocean waded thousands of beautiful dolphins.”
This was the first time the dolphins ever appeared to me. It was a breathtaking site, but being a strong believer of shamanism, I knew that it was no mistake, that it was more than a dream.
It was a visit from an animal spirit, a totem. Shamans have many beliefs. When animals appear in life or dreams they carry a special meaning or message with them . The meaning of each appearance varies based on the details such as how they appear to you or which direction they travel. Each animal represents a group of characteristics and traits. When a specific animal appears to you it is sometimes because you might need to be reminded to take on their specific strengths to get through what is going on in your life. For example, a man loses his job. He is very depressed. On his drive home a large buck crosses the street in front of him, pauses briefly in the road, and looks at him before disappearing back into the woods. Each animal has a specific meaning and even a doe or a baby deer would’ve had a different message for this man. The appearance of the large buck could be percieved as a sign of encouragement; a reminder to stay strong during this difficult time. It is sometimes personal and a message with a message that only the person encountering the totem can decipher.
So I was being visited by dolphins. It was a difficult time in my life. I had no job. I almost died from pneumonia. Rejection letters from MFA programs were pouring in. As a result of my latest relationship, I’d woken up to find the windows smashed out of my car. I was lonely and depressed. This went on for over a month. I was hopeless. I wanted to die. This dream about dolphins was the only thing that broke me out of this grief. I viewed this dream as a message, as a promise for the future; a promise that things would turn around and that one day I would find real love.
That wasn’t the only time I saw dolphins, but it stuck in my head as a motivator that kept me going through the difficulties I faced the years after. I was moved by the gulf oil spill. I wanted desperately to help, but how could I? I decided that if I made enough money off of my book, I would give back and start a fund to help save the dolphins and other affected ocean wild life.
My memoir started off short. It was going to be a novella. It ended up being over 200 pages. The book is about my attempt to break the cycle of abusive relationships. The stories in the book all take place at the ocean, one shore or another.
You can read the synopsis and find out more about it here.