Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fish I Have Loved

Pal Pescado passed away today. Pal was my fish who kept me company at the kitchen sink. He was my third fish in recent years. I don't know why he died (unlike Buddy Beta whom I killed...more about that later). I'd only had Pal since Good Friday. He was a gift from the neighbor who knew how much I missed Buddy.

My daughter hated Pal. She said he was weird...and he was. But he was his own fish and I learned to accept him the way he was. I wondered if some of it had to do with his name. "Pescado" is fish in Spanish only this particular word for fish is fish on a plate ready to be eaten! Poor thing, maybe that's the reason he seemed to prefer laying on the bottom of his bowl. I guess his name should have been "Pal Peces" which is the name for a free swimming fish. But that didn't really fit him. He was very different from the other two fish I've had.

My adventures with fish started a couple of years ago. Don't really know why but the thought came to me to get a fish. I mentioned the idea to the gals at Curves who helped me decide on getting a single beta to keep me company near the kitchen sink. I went to a wonderful aquarium store that sold things (and creatures) I never knew existed. I eventually located the betas floating in their little tiny containers and was drawn to a small, simple looking one. Then I selected a specially designed "beta bowl" with a light, that came with food and some kind of drops for something or other. After stopping by the grocery store for spring water, I went home and set up house keeping for my new pet. I named him "Friend Fish".

"Friend Fish" was great company for me as I worked at the kitchen sink. I loved watching him swim...I marvelled that his small cramped bowl didn't seem to constrain him at all. When I came over to the sink, he would swim up to the glass and then swim a lap or take a twisting dive to the bottom and back to the glass. I marvelled at how he could be so free in such a small, constricted environment. That's when it struck me that perhaps this was what true freedom really is.

I'm not sure what happened to Friend Fish but he died and after a reasonable time of mourning my daughter bought me a new fish. "Buddy Beta" was incredibly beautiful and seemed to strut around the fish bowl. He loved to fight with me for his food. He'd come up the glass and fan out his gills and stare me down. After thumping the glass a couple of times I would reward him with a few flakes of beta food. I loved that he loved to fight with me...a true fighting fish...I loved that he was his authentic self.

Sadly, I killed Buddy : ( I had been out of town for a few days and when I returned home, I noticed that his bowl was about 1/3 evaporated and murky...he was swimming around OK but it was stinky and gross so I decided I needed to clean his bowl right away. Unfortunately, we were out of spring water (or any bottled water) which is what I normally use. I thought our water purifier took out the chlorine so I used that but apparently it doesn't. I tucked him in that night in his clean clear water only to find him laying on the bottom the next morning : ( He was such a pretty fish...the prettiest beta I've ever seen.

These are the fish I have loved.

So Rich

It's mid January. Yesterday I bought fresh blackberries and raspberries...they were amazing...brilliant colors...plump, sweet.

How did this come to me? Something that only royalty could know in years past? How could I be so blessed? So rich...

"Taste and see that the LORD is good." Psalm 34:8

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Call From My Son

I had the most delightful surprise this morning: my son who is with the Marines in Iraq called and told me he was back from his mission. He's been out of contact for several weeks. He left his base in Haditha before Thanksgiving but couldn't tell us anything about the mission they were on. Turned out, he and his unit were part of an effort to secure the border with Saudi Arabia for those making pilgrimage, The Hajj. (I like thinking of him on a "peace keeping mission".)

December 18, 2007 - December 21, 2007 Hajj (Annual Pilgrimage to Mecca) The Hajj, or annual pilgrimage to Mecca, consists of several ceremonies meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, such as submission, brotherhood, and unity, and to commemorate the trials of the Prophet Abraham and his family. Required once in a Muslim’s lifetime, over two million Muslims perform the pilgrimage annually.
(From Islamic Networks Group

He said they stopped and talked to groups of pilgrims and the shepherds and locals along the way. Thankfully their "securing" was in presence only and pilgrims were able to pass through their area peacefully.

It's amazing to watch my children finding their way. I have two other sons who are pacifist for religious reasons...needless to say, we often have interesting, lively conversations when they get together. The one in Iraq, volunteered to go (he was in the reserves and chose to activate) siting the treatment of Kurds in Iraq. My mother's family is Jewish and "ethnic cleansing" is an injustice he wanted to help combat. Of course, it is a complicated situation with no easy answers but it doesn't change the fact that he is doing what he thinks will combat evil in this world and I am very proud of him.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Waking Up Slowly

The last few years, I've had a "theme" and an accompanying image for the year. I don't really choose it, rather it comes to me in a knowing that expresses something of my growing edge. This year my theme is "Waking Up". I'm not sure what it means or how it will unfold but I have the sense that it will be all encompassing...body, soul, and spirit.

"Waking Up Slowly"

This is the accompanying image for the year. It came to me the other morning as I was "waking up slowly" (a rare treat). As my eyes gradually adjusted to the early morning light, I realized that my soul and spirit were waking up in a similar way.

softly the morning
whispers my name
opening my eyes
in first light
my path
slowly spreading out before me
flowing, mysterious
calling me
my day
ready to be lived
all I want
all I need
mine this day

waking up slowly

Happy New Year!

First an apology for being slack in sending out my e-letters. Some of you have requested my "monthly newsletter". Needless to say, they haven’t been monthly, not even quarterly for a while. One of "heart felt intentions" for this year (aka "New Years Resolutions") is to be more regular about sharing my art and reflections with you, mostly because I enjoy the spiritual community and sacred dialog that comes as a result.

It's for that reason that I have decided to join the blog world. Instead of keeping it all to myself in one-on-one interactions, I want to "share the wealth" that you bring as you "fill out" my offerings.