Evocative U

(ee-vok'-uh-tiv) Bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind

Glenn Murray

Written by Glenn Murray. I design and build cool software. CV

Here's my latest think piece.

DolphinsAndMe2021-1

From Miami, on to the Florida Keys. I am staying at Cheeca Lodge, a classic Florida Keys resort in Islamorada. The suite is very nice, though not of the modern design I prefer. The tub on the patio is wonderful, though. And the view, well... I woke up momentarily my first morning to catch the end of the sunrise and an early morning shower. By later in the day, it had cleared spectacularly.

I’ve wanted to frolic with dolphins since childhood. I believe they are amazing creatures, perhaps even more advanced than humans. There are several dolphin-interaction places in the Florida Keys, but I didn’t want a place that was too much like a theme park, or one that seemed to harmfully exploit the dolphins. I settled on the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key. The dolphins had large swimming areas, right next to open water. I asked if they were free to go, and was told they were, but that they didn’t want to venture far from their convenient food sources. Yes, it was not a normal life in the wild, but they didn’t appear to be abused, and weren’t forced to do tricks for us. In fact, it was explained if they weren’t in the mood we wouldn’t be able to be kissed, greeted, or go for a swim. When it came time for dolphin kisses, we were told that Aleta, one of our dolphin companions, was skittish around men. This may have been projecting by the female trainer, or just perceptive. Any steps towards deconstruction of male domination is a good thing, regardless. I tried to be my usual non-binary and non-threatening self, and was rewarded with some smooches.

Any extended human interaction with wild animals, no matter how much care is taken, is obviously not a typical experience; how harmful or degrading it is overall remains to be seen. There is also the benefit of influencing enough of us visitors to promote a healthy balance of human and non-human life on our fragile planet.