Once upon a time when I was a practicing mystic in the high desert and in dire need of manifesting some material goods (read unemployed artist in need of rent money), I decided the thing I was lacking was not a job, but the element of water.
I was dabbling in feng shui and from my perspective, although the high desert had a lot of desirable elements to draw from, water was not one of them. My “cure” for this was to buy a fish tank.
I started out with a 5 gallon tank from Walmart. I eventually ended up with a 50 gallon tank from the Exotic Pet store in The City Different. I had several fish, each with a name to match their personality, and enough fish bling to keep them all happy, in a territorial sort of way.
I even had live births in the tank and felt like the proud mother of little fish babies, all about the size of a sliver. I discovered these babies one 4th of July. The fishlet (not really a word, but for the sake of this blog post, let’s pretend it is) I named Independence, Indy for short, lived exactly one year.
The following 4th of July she swam near my hand as I was cleaning the tank as if to say, “Gracias and hasta luego, amiga. I’m on to bigger things.” And just like that, she was belly up.
One of the other fish, Mae West I believe, survived an out of tank experience. I was in the process of transitioning all the fish from the little tank to the big tank and chose Mae as the tank concierge. She took her job very seriously. You know, “Hi. Welcome to the new tank. Restrooms to the right. Krusty Krab to the left. Volleyball court in the middle.“
Anyway, one night she must have felt she was needed in the other tank and jumped out of the little tank into what she hoped would be the big tank. Alas, she didn’t make it. She was not Shamu and this was not Sea World.
I must have sensed her distress because something prompted me to go into the living room where I promptly discovered her body. I immediately scooped her up, put her in the fish net and swished her around. Like the trooper she was, she snapped back to life and without missing a beat, starting acquainting the other fish to their new habitat. I, on the other hand, was quite unnerved by the experience.
While I understand this might all sound very fishy to you, my point is what happened inside the fish tank was often indicative of what was going on outside the fish tank. This lead me to the inevitable conclusion that everything is everything.
This is not to be confused, although it often is, with the notion that everything is relative or everyone is your relative which actually circles back to the everything is everything thesis.
The idea that we are separate from our surroundings or each other strikes me as silly. As the global community gets smaller and smaller with instant communications and cross country collaboration (I once had a woman from Jordan contribute to an email course I was developing), it’s hard not to believe that a butterfly flapping its wings in South America can affect the weather in Texas or that “small changes to a seemingly unrelated thing or condition can affect large, complex systems.”
Tonight as I was walking the dogs along the riverbank with the moon reflecting brightly off the snow, I was deeply grateful for the fleece Cuddl Duds, pink overalls, ice cleats, and sheer delight of giving a dog a bone that made me go the extra 1/4 mile and get out where baby, it’s cold outside, and nature nurtures.
Yes, when it comes down to it, everything is everything, providing me with more than enough writing material not just for the next 15 days, but for a lifetime.