Aquarium

dictionary with letter A

Aquarium (n): a transparent container of water in which fish and other water creatures and plants are kept.

Sometimes I look back at the hiccups in my life and giggle over my choices, predilections and the fads that permeated my consciousness temporarily, only to fall to the wayside as a new idea punctured my awareness.

About fifteen years ago I decided I wanted an aquarium. I think I saw one in a movie, thought it was cool and believed it would be a conversation piece for individuals who came into my home and seemed incapable of speech.

I did what I usually did–researched the subject just enough to make me totally unqualified.

Unqualified, but verbose.

So I bought the tank, filled it with water, got the pellets, put in the little furniture, rocks and stuff to go along with it, and bought myself some fish.

Let me tell you–I selected my fish based upon what looked pretty and interesting. The proprietor of the pet shop, in great generosity, donated five gold fish, which looked rather bland and unappealing.

I threw all the fish together with no concern for cultural integrity.

In two or three days I noticed that my gold-fish were gone. I looked for them in the bottom of the tank, planning to retrieve them for a decent burial, but no luck. I looked along the sides, but not there either.

So I called my pet shop owner and he explained to me that those pretty fish I bought were…well, shall we say, cannibals.

They ate the gold-fish.

I asked him why he didn’t tell me that in the store and he gave that lame response often provided by shopkeepers.

“I thought you knew.”

So you see, much like my gold-fish, my interest in aquariums was short-lived. But it gave me pause for thought.

In the aquarium kingdom–and I assume paralleling into the human–the pretty and interesting fish always eat the dull and boring ones.

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Another

dictionary with letter A

Another: (adj & pron) a word used to denote an additional person or thing

I have just learned to go with it.

People often ask me how I’m able to write a column every day on the Internet. They think it’s impressive.

For me, impressive is someone digging a ditch on a ninety-five-degree day, or my food server remembering my exact order, complete with a side of horseradish.

But the reason I can write is because I don’t fight the first sensation that comes to me and try to improve on it too much. Most of the people I know who are writers fail at the task because they’re waiting for another idea.

They become too critical of their first instinct or try to complicate it or embellish it too much and lose the beauty of what I refer to as “slapping your face” inspiration.

Two immediate examples came to my mind when I read the word “another.” Both of them are comical in nature because they show how ridiculous we become when we are either too analytical or feel too entitled.

There is a story in the Good Book about the character John the Baptist sending his friends to ask Jesus the question, “Are you the one or should we look for another?”

It’s pretty funny. After all, there weren’t a lot of people doing miracles and railing against the religious system, while preaching a universal message of love.

But Jesus didn’t fuss. He just went out and did a good day’s business. Then he told the messengers to go back and report to John what they had seen. He left it to John to decide for himself if there was another.

On the other hand, there is the advice you get from people, usually older adults, when you’re a teenager, about romance, after your girlfriend breaks up with you.

“There are a lot of fish in the sea,” they proclaim.

You see, that’s fine if one fish is as good as another, but if you were thinking about getting a bowl and having a fish of your choice to be your lifelong pet, then some specific attributes would be required. (There’s a reason they call them “gold-fish.”)

Human beings are not like buses. You can’t miss the opportunity to love one and think another one is going to be coming around the corner real soon.

“Another” is a dangerous word. If we use it too often, we begin to believe that we are merely consumers who are being wooed by God and our fellow-humans with their wares.

If you ignore blessing too often and miss out on the moving of the Spirit … you might find yourself stuck with something much less satisfying than what was originally offered.

 

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