Thought this was a good day to share my oil painting of “Fungie” the dolphin again. He’s a wild dolphin from Dingle, Ireland. I fell in love with this cheerful little guy when I was lucky enough to see him playing in the sea, chasing the boat we were in.
“Stone’s Throw Away” is one of my posts about Ireland. I had a blog about our life there, but I took it down for privacy reasons. I had many photographs of friends and people we met there, and there are now too many visitors to my site for that to be a good idea, especially since it would be hard to track everyone down to ask for permission. But, eventually I will share more of my stories from that time.
These are challenging days. I hope that you are able to put your time and energy into things, people, and places that you love. For all of those that we cannot have back, may our memories of the past bring us peace, and our thoughts of the future give us hope. No season lasts forever. Change is coming.
I struggled to think of what to say for today’s blog post. World events paint a bleak, angry, and fearful picture. What popped into my head was this dolphin. It’s nearly impossible not to feel happy when we see a dolphin playing in the ocean. Even when humanity thinks the sky is falling, dolphins are happy anyway. Perhaps it will lift your spirits to see a picture of a dolphin, as a break from focusing on the picture that the news is painting.
The holiday season is fast upon us. Don’t let anything steal your happiness. We have but one life, and each day that is wasted in worry or despair is one day less to live our purpose, love our families, and experience what we are meant to know.
God bless and keep you. May His face shine upon you, and give you peace.
What is the pursuit of happiness? Does it mean simply “feeling” happy, or actively living happily? A dolphin in the wild is playful and enjoys following boats, showing off for human audiences. I loved meeting this delightful dolphin named “Fungie” when I was living in Ireland. Unless captured, a dolphin answers to no authority and is free to pursue happiness. Apparently Fungie liked hanging out with his human fans. It seemed like he was looking and smiling directly at me, and stole my heart!
But there is something horribly wrong when a human being feels less free than a wild dolphin. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” seems like a good declaration for independence, for sovereignty over our bodies and our lives, and for the promise of freedom to follow our purpose, talents, vocations, lifestyles and dreams.
When governments and their “activist” proxies cancel some people but not others, when laws apply to some people but not others, when some of us are “essential” and others are not, when some of us can breathe free while others cannot, when some of us can travel, but others cannot, when some of us can work or go to school without restriction, while others cannot, are we free to pursue happiness? Have we declared our independence? Instead of looking wistfully at us from behind a glass aquarium wall in captivity, perhaps a wild dolphin observes us looking at him wistfully… wishing we too were on the other side of captivity.
“This very playful and marvelous creature is a dolphin named Fungie. I met him on a boat tour in Dingle, Ireland. He loves showing off for people. He is quite a character, well loved by locals and tourists. Delightful! The Irish are hilarious. As it turns out there’s only ONE dolphin to see on the Celtic Sea dolphin tour. They literally meant “dolphin” tour. Fungie got lost one day and now lives there.
I was living in Ireland in 2016 with the hope of staying for at least a year. Unfortunately I had to cancel my art show because I couldn’t get a “permission to remain” visa. I was sad about this, as it had taken a lot of time and effort to make the art show happen, and my family had our hearts set on staying. Two of my children had received scholarships for the university in Cork.We’d also never lived near the sea before, and it was a healing and life-changing experience. Seeing Fungie was my first time seeing a dolphin in the wild, which was my dream come true! So, when we returned to the Midwestern United States, land-locked, and ocean-less, I didn’t know when or if I’d ever see another dolphin outside of a zoo.
God moves in mysterious ways, and a little over a year later, I was on another dolphin tour, on an ocean that… if we could see clear through to the other shore, we could almost see Ireland. On the Tybee Island dolphin tour, I saw several dolphins, not just one. They usually traveled in pairs and chased the boat. I’ve also seen dolphins while at the beach. I love dolphins so very much. The excitement from seeing them never dims.
List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book: