There was the Chinaman who dreamed he was a butterfly, then he woke up. There’s the frog who dreamed he was a fish. For a fish my tadpole certainly is. Completely aquatic, he wouldn’t dream of sitting on a lily-leaf, pretending he’s part of the pond’s surface, watching flies until he can flick his tongue, wrap them up, swallow pleasantly, digest the insects away into his own being. The tadpole is too busy o dream, he wants to pop up and down in the green mystery of my aquarium, kept company by the golden shape of its rightful tenant. The tadpole grazes on algae, the concept of a fly is quite beyond his tiny computations.
Watching the miracle makes a man think. Am I what I think I am: part of the present top of animal evolution crawling about in the here and now, on a planet? What hidden being forms itself in me, while I busily earn my daily dollop? I can’t, by definition, imagine what my being will be, for how can one imagine the unknown? Limited by three dimensions and human ignorance I have no choice, have to believe that I am what I seem to be for the moment, as the tadpole believes himself to be a tadpole, yet he’s undoubtedly a future frog.
I sympathize, for my position isn’t all that different. I partake in his joy too; most of my life is lived as well and a complete change should be quite adventurous. I know he’ll be a frog, croaking musically under a full moon. Does he know what I’ll be?
The goldfish nuzzles nearby, brought close by a single synchronized flick of his elegant fins, propelling himself within different possibilities again. He’ll never be a frog but slowly changes into a gigantic carp, capable of gobbling large chunks of bread, gulping noisily, lifting his huge head into the air while I observe him, squatting on a rock at the side of the pond.
So many lives, and all part of the miracle, going on forever and refusing to be limited by definition. All lives connected, one changing into another. The tadpole shoots up, looking for my finger, touching it for a moment. The tadpole is alone, and so am I, but we can share our pain, and pleasure.
~Janwillem van de Wetering
I can’t remember the time before change….funny how we agonize and then it’s time….
inquiry for today~ what change is looming ahead? what longs to be burned away?
Before she became fire, she was water.
Quenched the thirst of every dying creature.
She gave and she gave,
until she turned from sea to desert.
But instead of dying of the heat,
the sadness, the heartache,
she took all of her pain
and from her own ashes