Monday, July 7, 2008

Joy in the Smallest Things

May I preface this entry by saying that I had started it days ago, but hadn't finished it yet till today because I HAVE TIME! (See Separation Anxiety entry). This not by any means the foremost thing on my mind....

Recently, I purchased a betta fish. Here he is pictured here, not well I'm afraid (I can't download my photos from my digital camera at this time so all the photos I use are from my phone camera!) and this photo just doesn't do him justice.

Initially, I got him because I had been wanting to make a betta fish planter,
similar to this. Others I know have done so, and it always looked cool, and it was explained to me that the fish could live off the roots of the plant that hung in the water in which it lived! A twofer, a fish aquarium and planter in one!

So, long story long, I got the fish, got the container, fish food, water purifier, a plant. I wasn't certain on the whole construction and began researching online as to the proper procedure for creating my spectacular betta fish planter!

But amidst the websites that popped up on making one, others popped up. Disturbing sites talking of the inhumaneness of betta planters! Inhumaness? It's a fish in a thing of water!?

Come to find out, the fish eat the roots because people don't feed the fish in these planters the proper betta fish diet of dried up blood worms and shrimp or something like that. They're forced to eat the roots, which aren't good for them! Then, one activist threw out "Would you buy a cat or dog and keep them in a cage not much bigger than themselves to stay in permanently?". I guess this alluded to the small vase that one would use to make a fabulous betta fish planter."

So, being the former vegetarian and avid animal lover that I am, I threw the idea of the betta fish planter to the wayside. I put the fish, who had been named Gilbert by Casey, in the vase that I had bought for this whole dibacle, sans plant which would have most certainly cemented the fishie torture chamber that those activists so disdainfully advised against! My bamboo stick did make it's way in eventually, but only because it only took up a little room, and it seemed like it made his new home seem more, natural I guess.

After this I became concerned with my fishes accomodations, and whether he did in fact have enough room, leading me to make a trip to IKEA to find an inexpensive, larger, glass container that he could call home. Returning with the same sort of jar I use for cookies, I placed rocks and a cool plastic plant in the bottom, poured some water in, dumped Gilbert in, much to his chagrin and placed him amongst the plants I would like to think he sees from inside the jar, I mean bowl, and thusly, feels like he is in his rice patty home. Yes, I do believe I am nuts....

To further support this, I find myself standing for a few minutes at a time (which any busy mom knows is complete time wasting) watching him swim around, and finding great joy in dropping a food pellet in and seeing him gulp it down. I excercise him by placing a mirror next to his jar, bowl, so he thinks that another fish is in there, and he swims around with his little face flaps outstretched, like he's ready to kick some fish butt. I find great entertainment in that. Yes, I am a geek.

Bill says he has no interest in Gilbert which I find very sad and I hope to somehow, spark a new found love for my betta in him like he's never known before. I doubt it will happen though.

In the grand scheme of all this, I have to ask myself why I like this fish so much, why I find him so interesting, why I almost tried to find a fish sitter this past weekend when we went away. I believe that his simplicity and beauty in some ways makes me forgot about the stress and busyness of everyday living. He doesn't make a sound, as everyother creature in my life does, and loudly. He is easy to take care of, unlike the other creatures that I take care of. And he asks for very little, quite the opposite of, again, those other creatures in my life.

I figure if I can find peaceful moments throughout the day in something as simple as my little betta fish, then I don't need much. And that has to be a good thing......

Those other creatures...........