Peter Shenstone, the Messenger, sent the letters from the Dolphin Spirit to John Denver. John was profoundly affected by them, his music suddenly going into cross-genre popularity, his "green philosophy" became popularized, and his many other talents began to be recognized (actor, activist for the environment, Ambassador for the UN hunger project, martial artist, founder of a visionary school for sustainable living, called Windstar, and his growing fascination with dolphins and whales).John became a close friend and major supporter of Jacques Cousteau, contributing a song, "Calypso" for fundraising for the Cousteau Society.
John's mentor in his exploration of a "green world" philosophy was a remarkable man who had been an original founder of the Aspen mystique, a man who, with his wife, just after the second world war, decided to homestead a piece of mountain paradise, to build a lodge at the head of an alpine valley outside of Aspen, Colorado, where he would raise and train dog-sled teams to take tourists on sled rides to remote sites.
His name was Stuart Mace. The Mace family was eccentric, organic and visionary. John was welcome at the family lodge, and brought the letters from Australia to a party. He showed them to Bruce Mace, the youngest son of the Mace family. Bruce was transfixed.
Soon, Bruce made his way to Australia, to track down the source of the letters. He found his way to the remote farmhouse in the Blue Mountians, walked up the front steps and introduced himself. He left two and a half years later, after innumerable adventures.
Bruce helped arrange for the Legend to visit America, supported by Linda Tellington-Jones, and with him came Peter, carrying the chest he had had made to contain the handwritten and hand-drawn books that he had painstakingly compiled, aids for telling the Legend tale.
These books were remarkable objects in their own right. Drawn with a delightful style, bright colors and exacting calligraphy, they were like two-dimensional holograms, allowing the viewer to see through them, to see ideas coming toward the surface before they arrived. There were cut-out sections, pasted in graphics, superheroes, myths, graphs, stories in detail and brief reminders for the storyteller....an inspiring assemblage of mysteries and magic, all in a box.
Peter and Bruce brought the box to America. Circumstances prevented Peter from completing the trek, so he left the Legend in Bruce's hands, and returned to Australia, with instructions to return it to him quickly. Bruce made his way to Colorado, heading home for a visit. Along the way, he was given a phone number by Allan Armstrong to invite someone to hear the Legend.
Living in Colorado Springs, a bastion of conservative America, I had been a family man, raising my two children with my wife. I was a self-taught furniture designer/builder, having expanded my skills to enable me to hire ten employees. I was a busy man.
One afternoon I recieved a call. A stranger said he had gotten my number from a very close friend, and would like to stop by, to tell me a story. I invited him to my home for the evening and promptly forgot his call after I hung up.
That evening I was playing with my children when I heard a knock at the door. "Oh no!" I thought to myself, as I suddenly remembered the stranger's call. I opened the door to see a very odd sight: a tall man with a blond beard, twinkling blue eyes, a turban on his head, and the strangest shoes I had ever seen. It was Bruce Mace.
He told us of the Legend, and that he was going to be giving a presentation in Boulder, Colorado in a few days and that we ought to come to hear it. He also told us of a revolutionary new set of skills, lifestyles and tribal values that was being born in Australia, called Permaculture. It was the dolphin tale that grabbed my attention at the time.
I took my family to the Legend event and we sat for many hours, listening in amazement to Bruce and his travelling partner, Gigi Coyle. For a whole day I sat transfixed, gazing at the product of a gentle obsession, a man's effort to capture a vision, a tale of immense implications, a positive assessment of the difficulties the human family was facing. Woven into it all was a sense of play, of joy, and of freedom. It felt like a dolphin had entered my life.
This all occurred in April of 1983. By 1988 I was divorced, my business was dead, my children under the care of their mother and a step-father, and I was at loose ends. I chose to follow the Dolphin...
From the beginning, that day in 1983, I had kept in close touch with Bruce. We talked endlessly about the Legend. The box had been sent back to Australia, so we talked from memory. Bruce had witnessed the building of the books. He had taken a journey across Australia with a group of musicians, filmmakers, children and mystics, to visit a pod of wild dolphins who had set up an "embassy" visiting humans on a daily basis, at Monkey Mia, in far western Australia. A feature movie was made of the journey (Titled "Monkey Mia") and we watched it over and over. Bruce had been the naked yogi cook for the journey.
Through the film I was introduced to an odd cast of characters, some of whom I have now met and become friends with: Peter and Jan, and their daughters (now four and a granddaughter, and now, a grandson); Claire Leimbach and her daughters Alison and Carli; Mook and Shanto, famous singers and songwriters, and their two children, Madhu and Nuro; Radha; John Sevenoaks; Johnny Didge, Hans Poulson, and Jean-Luc Bozzoli.
As I mulled over the tale, I began to realize that the latest chapter, the part that covered our current world and its growing fascination with, and exploration into, the lives of dolphins and whales, had not been told in Peter's message. I began to know that I had a part to play, something to contribute to the telling of the Legend.
Years of effort, research, travel, study, interviews, projects, and meditation have led me to the recognition that I too am a Legendarian, one of the Messengers of the Legend of the Golden Dolphin. I have found myself as a character inside the Legend, bringing to life its dreaming. It has challenged me, uplifted me, focussed me and defeated me. It has allowed me to rise to it and to overcome immense challenges in gathering and carrying it.
In 1996 I was inspired to found the Cetacean Studies Institute to formalize my collections, research, and fundraising. I have given thousands of talks on the Legend, led dozens of workshops, led tours to dolphin sites, taken groups out to sea on boats to swim among the wild dolphins and played roles in two private interspecies communication research projects.
The most recent chapter in my relationship with the Legend has been to return to academia, where I have spent five years gaining credentials in Animal Geographies, a subdiscipline of Human Geography that focuses on the relationships between humans, animals, and places. This academic field has recently opened up, a field that enables my interest in human and dolphin interaction and how it shapes human lives to be researched within academic standards. (See my biography for more detail on my academic work) The work continues...
The book Souls in the Sea: Dolphins, Whales and Human Destiny is my first, and the world's first, attempt to place the Legend into the mainstream, the 'dreaming' of everyone. It includes not only the outline and many details that Peter had received, but also the most current issues, revelations and experiences of the human encounter with the Cetacean Nation.
I might mention a few other Legendarians here:
Micky Remann, in Germany, has been an inspired musician and artist, who now has designed and built a multi-million dollar pool facility that has underwater sounds and a futuristic spa environment.
Gigi Coyle, an American sportswoman who was drawn into a life dedicated to spirit, council and the initiation mysteries. Her carrying of the Legend has brought many people into clear understandings of how dolphin attitudes among humans can work, and can solve many of our problems.
Janice Otero, a American woman who has given much of her life to her dedication to the dolphins and whales, helping educate thousands of small children, one by one, as well as doing her own independent TV series, and uncounted public presentations.
Wally and Trish Franklin, the founders, operators, and scientists of the Oceania Project, which takes people with them each year to sail among the Humpback Whales off eastern Australia, documenting their lives. The Oceania Project is one of the most benign and beneficial research projects ever undertaken, setting a high standard for participatory, non-invasive research.
Andre Orlov, a Russian underground journalist, was told the Legend by Gigi Coyle, and immediately took up the challenge (in the mid-80s). He wrote articles about it during the time of the end of the Cold War, acting in concert with the Citizen Diplomat project and John Denver.
There are many others. Many have parts of the story, important collections of experience, insights and energies, all gifts to share from the Cetacean Nation, of whom they are the representatives
A Telling of The Legend of the Golden Dolphin, March 6th, 2014
The Legend Of The Golden Dolphin - A Relationship
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