Aquarium Illustration



I want to be a god. I admit it–although my megalomania is not entirely my fault. I want a god-like power because, probably because, I’m too sensitive. Family and friends told me for years, “Oh, you’re just too sensitive.” Too sensitive. What do I do about such a declaration? How does one become un-sensitive? Do I just “buck-up?” Do I “grin and bear it?” And just how does one “buck-up” or “grin and bear it?”–how is that suppose to feel? I used to think sensitivity is a feeling, but now I believe sensitivity is a matter of perception. My annoying sensitivity, I now know, is from what I perceive, what I see and thus, what I know. And what I know is disturbing. Thus, my desire to be a god.

Only recently was I able to admit this long held desire. My desire was triggered by a visit to the chiropractor. I’ve sat in my chiropractor’s waiting room every week for months. Chairs border three walls of his small waiting room with a large aquarium in the center. Bright fish colors, shapes, movements, and gentle bubbling create a calming peaceful atmosphere. Most patients don’t read the magazines scattered nearby, but stare mesmerized at the kinetic abstractions drifting in pristine water. My gaze would usually settle on the gentle watery eden before me–until I saw it for what it was–reminding of what I know. What we all know but don't like to think about.

One day I arrived to find my favorite yellow fish I had come to know and love, missing. The receptionist informed me that the two small black and white fish attacked the helpless though much larger yellow fish killed and ate the yellow fish; every bit of it. The Doctor, in retaliation, flushed the bully black and white fish down the toilet. My meditative “all is well” center of attention in the lobby became a microcosm of carnage. My pesky too sensitive sensibilities kicked in, again. The yellow fish’s demise reminded me of what I know. And what I know is: LIFE EATS LIFE.

It just shouldn’t be that every living thing is part of a food chain. Fleas, ticks and worms feed on my helpless dogs who are minding their own business . . . until they chase down and kill a chipmunk minding its own business. If I were a god, my dogs would leave the chipmunks alone, there would be no fleas, ticks, parasitic worms, chiggers, snakes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, snakes, hurricanes, cockroaches, diseases, snakes, bullies, tyrants, sociopaths . . . there would be no such thing as organ devouring cancer.

My father died of cancer. Nothing would kill those insipid mutant cells feeding on his healthy life-giving cells–-life-giving cells minding their own business. Radiation and chemo worked for awhile, but the cancer was like the relentless pursuer alien one sees in the movies. In the movies, however, the hero destroys the monster. My father’s body was cremated and my family had an odd sense of satisfaction knowing the relentless monstrous cancer was finally burned to death–-defeated. If I were a god, there would be no cancer.

Eve wanted to be a God as well. The Garden of Eden, is for me, a metaphor for the way my too sensitive mind sees things. For me, The Garden was not a part of literal history, a place we were kicked out of; but a metaphor for a frame of mind that always was, is and forever will be. We were “kicked out” of the metaphorical garden the moment we human beings became conscious of the horror of life: that life eats life, that soul containers eat other soul containers. Sheep can’t sleep next to the lion without dire consequences. Eve wanted to be as God, to keep things perfectly peaceful–-the way it should be; so she ate the metaphorical apple. Hey, I’ll take that apple! I’ll eat it whole! Things are definitely NOT the way they should be.

If I had created the garden, there would not have been a bully tempting snake in a garden of perfect peace and harmony. Snakes! If any creature on the face of the earth symbolizes the reality of life, life eating life, it’s the snake. They don’t even bother to chew! After all, snakes are only slithery intestines hiding in my garden.

I want to be a god, but since I’m not, what do I do? Do I declare, “I will no longer participate until things are the way I think they should be.” Or do I simply bail out? I’m too sensitive to consider the gruesome details of that possibility. My only choice, as I see it, is to embrace life for what it is. Not just accept it, but embrace it. Embrace it all! I believe that by embracing the sorrows and horrors of life, I experience a kind of madness of the Divine who seems to present him/herself in clever paradoxes. With the realization that life was created by a formula that, in my mind, should not have been, I am inspired to do something “Eden-like” about it: I suspect that that something has something to do with compassion.





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