Dolphins use more of their brains’ capabilities than we do. The efficiency of their mode of communication becomes obvious in the wild, when they all move together as a unit, surf the waves at the same moment, make direction-changes simultaneously … How can we develop instant, open communication like this? When we have no secrets, no hidden agendas, no negative reactions. This is achieved through truthfulness, integrity, and Pod or Group Mind.
— Joan Ocean, on her years of experience swimming with dolphins
Why do some people who swim with dolphins and whales feel so profoundly affected by the experience, perhaps even healed, or changed forever? Often they describe it as pure joy. Cetaceans do seem to know something we haven’t quite figured out yet as they wordlessly and synchronistically move together — something about community and oneness, and something about play and the space of joy itself which is so abundant that it seems a bit foreign and even miraculous to us. Maybe that’s why sometimes, in their presence, we feel like are receiving answers long before we know the questions.
Why do we say we “fall” in love?
A rain barrel overflowing
Question Michelle Tennison, Answer Mark Harris, (2016)
to hold hands with the sound of the ocean, ink on paper, Michelle Tennison
Can we hold hands with the unseen realms?
On a clothesline between stars worn out jeans
Question Michelle Tennison, Answer Dietmar Tauchner (2017)
— Surrealist Proverb, Paul Eluard and Benjamin Peret
Will all my questions ever be answered?
Mere pebbles in the beginning, a landslide by its end
Q&A Session with Paul Cunniff, Sharon Cunniff, Mary Ellen Binkele, and Michelle Tennison
If a question had a shape, perhaps it would look something like the Fibonacci spiral inside this nautilus shell — never fixed, never finished . . . just opening.
The echoes of longstanding battles never cease, what are some keywords for lasting peace?
She draws an infinity symbol with her hips
Question Richard Gilbert, Answer Michelle Tennison (2017)
Where does a thought go when it’s forgotten?
— Sigmund Freud
Image: Detail of a photograph by Beverly Borton of Architectural Cactus Grove, a collection of sculptures by Dennis Oppenheim, Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York.
Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
You’re asking the wrong questions. If you want to make the world a better place, tell funnier jokes!
I madly love everything that adventurously breaks the thread of discursive thought and suddenly ignites a flare illuminating a life of relations fecund in another way.
— Andre Breton
Poet John Levy’s curious questions add an almost Monty Python-like quality to the game. Together with some random answers they do create meaning, albeit of a somewhat cosmically weird kind. Makes me wonder as I go through an ordinary day what else is hiding there.
How does a herd of gaffes disappear?
“The tulips have opened, Love, hurry home!”
What haunts your eraser?
A long exhalation of ferns
What do the weeds sing?
A dark comedy
When does the mind really mind?
The thumping sound of a flat tire
Questions John Levy, Answers Michelle Tennison (2017)