Rotting Fish and the Meaning of Life
Rotting Fish and the Meaning of Life
There was something dead and smelly on the beach and Buzz was rolling in it. I yelled against the Atlantic gales and ran towards him. We were staying in Cornish hotel and the thought of our giant hairy beast of a dog turning up at this smart hotel smelling of rotten fish didn’t bear thinking about.
Buzz leapt away when I closed in, happy to play a game and keen to be chased. I sighed inwardly; it was hard to stay annoyed because here he was being a dog. He was completely in the moment, loving the stink of a well-rotted fish carcass and misinterpreting my running and yelling as an invitation to play.
I couldn’t help but laugh. There was something so uninhibited in his carefree spirit. He was now running towards the waves and splashing along the shoreline. I appreciated with a sense of deep wonder at his ability to enjoy life with such gusto and energy.
Rotting fish, running, games and splashing in water I guess in his world life didn’t get much better than this!
Unlike us humans he doesn’t get tangled up in his thoughts, fuelling them unnecessarily and over-complicating what is actually a very simple life. He runs for the sheer joy of it and enjoys being a dog.
When I experience the sheer joy of being human I find myself basking in intense moments of ‘now’. It doesn’t matter what the ‘now’ is. It can be the cold, the rain, the sun the wind in my face – all of these sensations become savoured with a sense of awe.
Aren’t we are quite simply extraordinary beings? We have the ability, every moment of the day, to enjoy and relish what it is to be alive.
When I get caught up and distracted by my thinking (the drudgery of doing the dishes, the reluctance to go out in the rain or the annoyance of going to the supermarket) then I temporarily switch off my ability to dive into the awesomeness of life.
When on the other hand I wake up to my life I am struck by the beauty and magic that surrounds me on a daily basis the flame of ‘being alive’ is ignited once more inside.
Buzz is my greatest teacher – every day for him is a chance to enjoy life. Every day I am reminded of this by him.
I love this quote by Alan Watts it was posted on Facebook during the week. I’ll leave you with it today.
“As it is, we are merely bolting our lives—gulping down undigested experiences as fast as we can stuff them in—because awareness of our own existence is so superficial and so narrow that nothing seems to us more boring than simple being. If I ask you what you did, saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted yesterday, I am likely to get nothing more than the thin, sketchy outline of the few things that you noticed, and of those only what you thought worth remembering. Is it surprising that an existence so experienced seems so empty and bare that its hunger for an infinite future is insatiable?
But suppose you could answer, “It would take me forever to tell you, and I am much too interested in what’s happening now.” How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god?
And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvellous patterns of its environment—from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies—how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being?”
Alan Watts, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
About Liz Scott & Stuart Newberry
Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are Coaching Skills trainers and 3P practitioners. They help develop coaching cultures within schools and organisations. Liz & Stu use their understanding of the 3Ps within their training and are experiencing great successes and results in the organisations they are working in. Download an Introduction to the Three Principles here. Find out more about Liz & Stu at Liz Scott Coaching and Training.