I went to an aquarium and looked at the dolphin exhibit. The dolphin flipped through the air for a fish and flopped back into the water. I looked at the glass at a sign that read "This glass weighs the amount of one dinosaur, a ship anchor...." And I thought "These beautiful wild animals are trapped behind thick heavy glass, suffocating, day in and day out, doing tricks as people walk by and press their hands up against thier prison!" I ran to the nearest woman and breathlessly asked "These dolphins are released sometimes?! How do you know when they can be free?!" She said "That's a deep question!" and guided me to the gift shop to another gal who looked at me like I had 9 heads. Frantic, I chased after another woman. She told me that they do tests, isolate the dolphin from humans, and in solitude they remember thier wildness. It is rare for a dolphin in thier aquarium to be able to return to sea. The ocean is dangerous. Most of them are deeply wounded and would not be able to survive. I am relieved. It is possible. Yet, I watched the dolphin swim frustrated and my heart sunk. On my way home, I think of what it means to be free, my heart breaking for the dolphins. I painted on my floor with my fingers, bubblewrap anything I could get my hands on singing like a maniac well into the middle of the night.
In a way, we all ARE dolphins- trapped by the glass of our fears as society watches our every move. Not everyone can be free. After all, imagine what the world would be like if everyone was fearless! It would be terrifying! But some people can be free, and that is SO beautiful.