A flashy billionaire met his college roommate at a class reunion. He regaled his old friend, who was a schoolteacher, with tales of his success–the yacht, the bespoke suits, the multiple homes–until the roommate got a bit restless, and answered him back:
“That’s great–I’m happy for you–but I have something you’ll never have.”
“What’s that?” said the startled billionaire.
Through encounters with others, we learn about ourselves.
This is the premise of a collection of true stories from my life called Dancing with Whales: A Book of Encounters, which I hope will be a published book. Dance with whales I did, once, on a lonely northern California beach, where six leviathans flung themselves onto the sands, and I, a girl of 16, ran among them to coax them back to sea. This book tells of many life-enhancing meetings–with cougars, gorillas, walruses and skunks, along with a couple who lived in a tree, a shrunken-head collector and a little old lady who wanted to cut off my head with hedge clippers. It’s told with a zest for life in all its manifestations.
This book also acts as encouragement for you to turn on your own inward light and, through prompts, use it to explore what you find there. Let your reaction to my stories lead you to ask, “Who am I and what has happened to Me?” Mindfully, fearlessly, investigate these questions through writing episodes from your own life. Do not be satisfied with the surface of your story. Pursue meaning and do not be afraid of what you learn: laughingly, lovingly, accept yourself as you are, and as you have been, but aspire through your writing to grow into a new wholeness.
Life is deep! Come dive with me…
Have you led a life?
Then you have something to say
That matters–not just to you
But to your neighbors
In the net of being.
We are all waiting to hear
In your brief allotted time
The values that propel you
What loss and love have taught
Or the larger meaning of some small thing–
Yes, what strands of morning light
Shine through your skin.