Saturday, October 29, 2005

The simple beauty of Zen is very appealing. The Japanese will often bring a little piece of wilderness into their homes with exquisite, but tiny gardens. And of course, there is the famous Zen Garden, which consists of sand artistically raked around a few rocks. No weeding to take care of, no plants to water - my kind of garden.

And the contemplation of this simplicity calms the mind.

Another feature of the Japanese garden is the koi pond. Yes, these are a type of goldfish. Several years ago, while feeling stressed out, I decided I had a great need for my own goldfish. Of course, koi are a hideous pest which pollute and kill waterways, so we will stick with the ordinary goldfish, and I don't have a pond, so the tank will have to do.

Equipped with a small fishtank, and two comets (small, cold-water goldfish-type fish) I am now ready to relieve stress.

Why do you think all those office buildings have huge fishtanks? It is to stop the executives from going insane. Staring at goldfish is, after all, sure-fire stress relief.

The cats clearly know this. I am not sure why cats should be stressed - all they do is lie around the house all day, eat and sleep - but they feel the need to stare at these goldfish all day long.

The answer is suddenly clear: I know how goldfish relieve stress.

It is an act of transference - in staring at the goldfish, all your stress suddenly becomes theirs.

As for a large part of the day, they are being stared at by very attentive and apparently stressed-out felines, my goldfish are now suffering from stress.

Or possibly they are just frustrated that they spend all day swimming around and never get anywhere.