BB Webb as BB Webb!

Exploring the Possibilities

My fish died today July 8, 2009

It’s true. I try not to get attached to people, animals, situations in my life, feelings, habits, goldfish, oooh, I could go on, but I do. I liked my fish. I know this all sounds quite banal….I mean really, a fish. Come on, I eat fish regularly. The thing is…this fish, Saska was her name, she and her boyfriend Fritz, (both goldies), would actually greet me each morning, see me walking into the kitchen, jump up for food, break the water with their leap. We had a little thing going. Seeing Saska in a horizontal position this morning, gills gasping for breath, or whatever they gasp for, I knew something was up.

A note. My friend Katja is from Germany. She and another friend Lya, from Holland, were visiting me. They love all my animals and were admiring my plump, healthy goldfish. ‘They’ve gotten so BIG since I was last here,’ commented Katja. ‘Well yes,’ I replied, ‘I feed them special goldfish food, sometimes three times a day.’ ‘They’re beautiful,’ oooohed Lya, not a person who does a lot of ‘oooohing.’ ‘What are their names,’ wondered Katja. ‘Names, hmmmm, you know, I’ve never named them. Not sure why, just didn’t feel they needed names.’ ‘BB!’ scolded Lya, (the Dutch are good scolders….I spent three weeks in France with 32 of them last summer), ‘you have to name your fish.’

Well, after much hallabaloo and a few glasses of bold and musky merlot, we had our names….Saska was my Dutch female fish, and Fritz, name by Katja after her homeland, was my male fishie. Whewww….I got out of THAT one with narry a scuffle.

Saska....my little swimming, jumping buddy.

Saska....my little swimming, jumping buddy.

So now my fish were named and things became more personal and now this morning, Saska was on her side, sinking into the corner of the tank. Oh Lord have mercy, with all the other travails of late colliding in my everchanging world, (all necessary for growth but good heavens can I have a week without some part of the sky falling)…and now Saska was biting the dust, or rather, the water.

Immediately I realized, damn! I hadn’t changed their filter in awhile. At 6am, there I was madly dumping merky water out of my 10 gallon acquarium, sloppy goo splashing all over the kitchen and my pretty pink nightgown with the little yellow flowers. I beckoned to my other hungry livestock….

‘hold on gang, emergency in the kitchen, Saska’s floating everyone, mayday, mayday.’

I took out a favorite turquoise ceramic bowl from my pile of bowls, (which fit together so nicely), and put fresh, filtered water in it along with some special water conditioner for goldfish. I took a ladle from my container of spoons and carefully ladeled my little buds into the bowl.

‘Hang on Saska, hang on buddy, you can make it. I’m cleaning the acquarium and everything will be okey dokey in no time flat. Fritz, give her ‘life to life’ dude, come on now….on point everyone.’

I pulled the filter from its black holder and indeed, it was gross. I’m a bad mother, clearly. I found a new filter, emptied the tank, scrubbed the sides of the acquarium and filled it up with new water, fresh water, life giving water. My poor Saska and Fritz.

I did my morning stuff, took an hour walk to clear my head….yes, I get upset about these things. Well honestly, I was pondering bigger fish with some crappy business stuff going on with credit card companies and other distractors. I needed to move into the day being physical, listening to some zydeco while I walked at breakneck speed the three or four miles near my home. I knew a good sweat could put things in perspective.

I hurried toward home, eager to see if the acquarium water had cleared enough to replace Saska and Fritz. And maybe the fresh water in my pretty turquoise bowl had cheered her up!

No, still floating. Damn! I hopped in the shower, got ready for work, threw out a few emails, peered at the tank, dolloped some yogurt in a bowl with a few almonds and got a cup of coffee to go while whispering into the tank. ‘Hang in there little Saska, BB’s rooting for ya girl.’

Yes, I get attached to things, employees, friends, special coffee cups, favorite dresses, the feel of a certain day, the promise of a new encounter, friends I love, (of course), the ability to pick and choose and the dreams that fill my mind on a regular basis. I can’t help it. I read all kinds of metaphysical and zen stuff about ‘don’t get attached.’ Well I do. So, I’m disappointed a lot. Though I’ve weathered all seasons of change in my everchanging life and carried some big loads, I still get disappointed.

My friend 2Lu says not to have such high expectations. I can handle the slumps as I’d rather continue looking upward, thinking bigger and expecting bigger. If I don’t, how can I attract any of the things which fill my mind and heart. But there is a price to pay for ‘high expecations’. I’ve been paying some big dues lately, Saska just a little reminder that it’s just how it’s supposed to be. I’m growing, expanding and learning at breakneck speed.

I accept it and I won’t fight; I’m frankly a bit weary from fighting so much. Perhaps my message is to surrender more. Go with the flow, the current, the bubbles in the acquarium….let them drift me to the bottom if they must or fly me around to the top and over the plastic green and yellow palms planted near the ‘watch out for sharks’ sign.

Sometimes the sharks just bite you in the ass. Not much you can do sometimes, but float and let the current take you.

I came home tonight and Saska was gone. No movement. We had a short flushing ceremony and well, life goes on.

Of course it does.

Peace, love and more Rice Krispies for everyone. Snap, crackle and pop everyday. Might as well. Consider the alternatives.

As a tribute to my mother, Kitty Vogel, a lovely bird, (Vogel means bird in German) who is also now out to sea, no doubt playing gin rummy and swimming with the dolphins. A favorite song she used to sing me while driving and rolling down a big hill in her 1964 turquoise Thunderbird.

BB Webb

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