While I was waiting for Keith to get ready for our trip to the Regional Market this morning, I sat down and watched our two fantail goldfish happily swimming around in their tank. (Creamsicle is orange and white, and Rocky is white with spots.) As I was watching them, Creamsicle performed this strange movement with his pectoral fins. He wasn't using them in the typical "rowing" motion — instead they were moving alternately in more of a backward motion, almost like a human would rotate their shoulders in a circular backward direction. The amazing thing was that Creamsicle was backing away from the front of the fish tank.
As I watched him further, I saw him use those pectoral fins in many different ways. If he wanted to turn left, the right fin would stop moving and the left fin would be doing all the work. If he wanted to turn right, the reverse would happen with the fins. If he wanted to slow down or stop, he would flip his fins flat. I was mesmerized by this.
When Keith came downstairs, I proceeded to announce my discovery to him. He looked at me like I had just stepped off another planet. "That's what they do," he said. "They use their fins just like the paddles on a row boat."
I was stunned. I have had fish for many years and never had I noticed this peculiar movement being performed by any of them. Maybe that was because I was so busy with my own stuff that I never bothered to really look at the world around me and see some of the most wonderful and amazing things out there. Goal #4 for 2008: Every Now And Zen
Strangely enough, this was the one goal that I find to be the hardest to put into words. It encompasses so much that there aren't enough words to describe it and yet it is so simple that there really isn't a way to define it.
It's like taking all of those motivational quotes that you hear and mixing it with the works of poets while sprinkling a bit of interconnectedness of life and a dash of emotion and adding the wonder of discovery and being totally amazed and awed by all of it — and that last sentence cannot even do justice to what I mean. That's just it. There is no way to satisfactory way to explain it all. I'm gonna leave it to just that one word — zen — and call it a day.
Some people will see these my goals as separate and individual items. I see that as all being part of the same thing. That is probably why I'm having a hard time trying to verbalize them. It's just not something that can be done easily. It's living like I've never lived before.
I am being reminded that I need to clean the house for people so people can come over for games night. I use to feel like I was being nagged or put upon or that it was a chore. Not today. Today I am happy and excited and wanting to do it. Weird, huh?