That’s not a typo in the title. I really do mean “fish” and not “fresh”. One of my favorite lines of poetry by Emily Dickinson is this: Tell all the truth but tell it slant. Sometimes for us to discern where our truth lies, our perspective must be altered, slanted, whether voluntarily or otherwise. An unusual word choice or a fresh approach to grasp a concept can shake things up a bit.
I like to fish. When I was around three or four years old, either my grandmother or my dad would place a fishing pole in my hands to keep me occupied while they fished. Looping the squirming worm around the hook and then casting my line into the water fascinated me. I may have caught a bluegill or two, but mostly wound up with my reel twisted with line. I’d take my pole to the nearest grown-up and watch while my tangle was patiently unsnarled.
My son and I went fishing a few times this past summer – just catch and release. It’s more about the act of fishing than the end prize of the catch. Although, that’s exciting, too. Paddling in a canoe and observing the fish in their habitat in the water is a sacred pursuit for me. At first, I can’t see the fish. I must close my eyes, go within myself, take a deep breath and make the shift. I feel a click, like turning on a switch – an act of will. I then look again with my “fish eyes”, a changed perspective in how I’m peering through the water. It’s like peering into a different dimension, a watery one, and I can now see into the depths and perceive the fish in their secret world. It’s an act of wonder.
Learn to see with your inner eye. Develop a new organ of perception, “fish eyes” if you will, which dives below the surface of the superficial and into the depths of where greater truths may be found. Things aren’t always as they seem. This is a brave, brief vacating of your own inner landscape to sojourn into the environs of someone or something “other” than self.
This method translates into everyday life venues, especially in understanding a person or comprehending a concept or opinion that’s foreign, even disagreeable to you. Take a walk in someone else’s shoes. After you identify the object for your shift in awareness, there must be a suspension of all judgment combined with an earnest desire to perceive differently, to see “slant”.
Take a couple deep belly breaths to shift your body into an alternate awareness. Put your “fish eyes” on – even pretend that you’re placing special spectacles over your eyes. Then look with your whole being to perceive the “other” in a new way. Your new understanding or perception may be slight, you may not even agree with what you see, but the attempt to understand is priceless. Mountains may be moved. Great divides may be bridged.
Ever since three rebellious gods moved in next door, life has never been the same for Justus. His mom plays Twister with a goddess. He gets his first kiss with the secret love of his life. His evil step-grandmother tries to kill him.