30 January 2011

a tribute to walden

My dear friend Walden,
I know that now you are taking your last few breaths, your last few minutes of blood circulation, and that by the time this post is finished you will have passed into the supernatural. I want you to know that you shall always be in my heart. There is a special pond in my heart named after you. I loved coming to see you each morning, having you rely on my each day to give you the nourishment for your long life. You were my speechless friend who never complained, but just listened. You were always a jolly and chipper soul, and I loved your carefree gaiety and joy for life.
May God treat you well, my dear friend.

This was an excerpt for a eulogy I just wrote. It was for my fish, Walden. I named him after my also deceased Transcendentalist friend, Henry David Thoreau (he, you know, went to Walden Pond). I am closely tied to Walden Pond, since it was near where I grew up, and I have been there a few times. He was an allegorical fish. And my friend.
Fish are some of the bets friends you can have. Because they teach yo to live a more simple life. When I feed Walden every morning, I always imagine what it would be like if I was a fish too. Eat. Secrete. Repeat. What a life.
But the thing is, Walden wakes up each morning overjoyed to have food (well maybe he isn't overjoyed; some scientists argue on whether or not fish can feel emotions; I affirm their suspicions). I wake up, eat my breakfast in half-slumber, put on some clothes, and rush out the door. Yes, I brush my hair and teeth too..
Walden is content with his food. I am not even content with my morning, and I can do a lot more than him. I can walk around. I can feed myself. I can go to school and produce thoughts. I can go outside in the beautiful air and enjoy the wonderful weather. Walden can't. He sits in his tank. Walden can't do any of these things. Yet he is happy with his life the way it is.
Walden has taught me, and I just now realize it, that life is about the simplicities. Even though the only excitement in his day was his daily ration of 4 flakes of 35% crude protein, he went about his life in the tank as if it were wonderful.
We can all learn from Walden and his simplicity. He taught me that when it all comes down to it, life is about the simplicities, and we shouldn't have to worry about some of the trivial things we stress over, like personal appearance. And in this sense, we really are all equal. We may look different on the outside but our cells are all the same on the inside. If we were educated or not, we still had thoughts. Rich or poor, money cannot control when we die.
Walden taught me an invaluable lesson. A wonderfully philosophical lesson. Perhaps his name is much more allegorical than I thought.

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