“A human being is essentially

a spirit-eye.

Whatever you really see,

you are that.”



Our life today may seem, at times, like being confined within a fishbowl.  Our space is limited. Travels become routinized.  We gaze at loved ones through flat computer monitor screens.

My goldfish Cleo (namesake of Pinocchio’s pet) remains unfazed.   Her usual and customary behaviors offer life lessons to my “spirit-eye”.  She reminds me to be patient.  On those days I attempt to exert my will on circumstances that are quite beyond my control I often tire myself out without much to show for it.  Cleo, on the other hand, waits without fuss for her breakfast.  She enjoys the same daily fare with interest and attention.  Following her meal, after a constitutional swim, she rests.  As Thich Nhat Hanh would say, 

 “Stopping, calming and resting are pre-conditions for healing.”

Cleo never fails to show gratitude by sharing her miraculous aquatic gift of dance.  Flashing diaphanous, golden, sunlit fins is her way of saying “Thank you” if only I remember to remain present.  

Our human efforts to remain connected these days may seem unsatisfactory, delivered as they are through voice mail, texts, tweets, screen sharing and an abundance of nervous chatter.  We float on the surface of understanding.  Cleo demonstrates how to embrace silence.  When we do the same, we swim deep, touching the heart of things.

“Silence is the language of God.

All else is poor translation.”


 – Betsy Schussler