Friday, January 5, 2007

Those Surreptitious Shrimp

While diving a few years ago in Thailand, my divemaster sat lotus pose, underwater on the white sandy bottom, motionless. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing. Later, he told me that he was sitting still, waiting for the shrimp to come closer.

Shrimp? What shrimp? I didn’t see any shrimp.

Later, back in British Columbia, a local dive with buddies also ended up with everyone raving about how many shrimp they had seen.

Shrimp? What shrimp? I didn’t see any shrimp.

I still remember the first time I became aware of the shrimp. Notice the use of the word aware. They had always been there, I just didn’t recognize them. They are tiny, transparent little guys. With eyes. Eyes that glow when you shine your flashlight on them.

Once I knew what to look for, I realized that yes, they are everywhere. Since then, I have new eyes underwater. Eyes that look for the little things. Like brittle stars, chitons, zoanthids, and nudibranchs. Eyes that look for macrolife and microlife equally.

I wonder what else is out there in my everyday life, above water, that I just don’t recognize. That I am not aware of. How many glowing eyes are watching me, and then back up suspiciously once I near.

Tomorrow, I will try to be still. Open my eyes to what is not there. What I don’t recognize. I am sure there will be more to see than I saw today.

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