The golden fish symbolizes all living beings in a state of fearlessness, just as fish swim freely without fear through water. (adapted from several sources)
Today I watched two goldfish who have lived a decade in my room.
Observing in stillness, motions of the fish feel like large gestures in their matrix. My matrix borrows humidity from theirs while they borrow oxygen from mine. I cannot survive in their realm, but every cell I am contains their home.
Every morning I say hello. Maybe the water listens.
I have come to perceive the water as sacred. Because the bowl water has sustained two lives so long without mechanical heat or aeration, and they sleep where I do, I have taken a bit of it to use in my own made-up water ceremonies to honor water and those protecting it.
Only one of the fish actually has lived a decade. Its partner entered the picture 3 years ago after its former friend died. It spent three days on the bottom of the bowl refusing to eat, the first time I witnessed grief in an animal many think incapable of emotion. I tried to cheer it, “Hey buddy, you can be a perfectly fine single fish like me,” to no avail. Finally I saved its current friend from a feeder tank at a store and fish #1 immediately restored to perfect health.
8 Auspicious Symbols Series
As I work to design a knitting pattern for a blanket involving the 8 symbols, I am choosing one at a time to meditate on to see where it intersects my own life in the moment. I am no scholar and describe myself as an “unofficial Buddhist.” So instead of a vow of refuge and following a specific teacher, I find gurus (teachers) everywhere, allow dharma (Buddhist teachings) to inform my mind, and sangha (community) to be the entire world. Sacrilegious to some, helpful for me in my path.