Part 5 – About the Size of Things

For a mind to repose
Size of matter is irrelevant.

Going North

Was it the following day, or the next after that one, or even one or more later? Cedric did not really know. He measured the days of his life in accordance with what happened during them. What he had noticed was that the water had turned markedly colder. He felt so cold; he had fallen into an almost constant kind of sleepiness. Bluey was a worried about his little friend. Now, he was the one who started most conversations.

Only once Cedric asked: “Bluey, why do I feel so cold and don’t you?” Bluey, trying to sound light-hearted, said jovially: “Tuna come here all the time, we are used to it. But you, I reckon, you are the first seastar ever coming up here to the icy oceans.” For a moment, Cedric felt some pride and a bit warmer. Then he thought: “Really? I still feel cold.”

And since Cedric was really very cold and quite drowsy, he did not even think of asking more questions about getting cold or not. Shows you, how changing environment affects our behaviour.

§

Bluey’s repeatedly suggested: “Ceddy, you have to eat more meat and put some fat on to keep you warm.” But the small crustaceans and worms Cedric could eat are only found on the shallow grounds, and now they were over very deep water. That’s beside the other pertinent point: ‘Can starfish put fat on at all.’ We are all different.

They tried to find shelter for Cedric to keep him warm. For a while, he stayed inside Bluey’s mouth, assuming it would be warmer there. But it was not really. There was an incessant stream of cold water. Worse, it irritated Bluey and Cedric was the danger of being swallowed, accidentally. Helping is a virtue, but it is wise to consider the consequences, first.

! Part 5 Bluey+Cedric behind front fin

So you can see where Cedric is hiding from the cold, I made Bluey’s fin a bit transparent

The first solution is hardly the best; it serves as a good start. A few more ideas were discarded before it occurred to Bluey to cover Cedric with one of his frontal side fins. This would protect him from the cold current, and the cocoon would even warm up through body heat. Since Bluey was such a skilled swimmer, losing the use of one side fine hardly restricted his manoeuvrability.

Initially, he had to remember not to use this fin, which was some challenge, because most of his swimming actions happened without thinking, as we have learned. It’s like riding a bicycle. Since a lapse of attention could have turned out fatal for Cedric, Bluey remained extremely alert and learned rapidly.

Alas, under the fin Cedric could not see anything. But since he was in this dozy state, it did not matter. Bluey would call him when there was something interesting to see, or when he considered it was time for Cedric to have some food.

In the meantime, Bluey had a lot of ‘no mind time’, more than he wanted, (it never rains, it always pours) because often he worried about his little, shivering friend.

Fish or no Fish

The first time when he woke up Cedric was, when they met a herd of strange looking, loudly barking fish. Cedric watched them. What a happy lot they were. There were lots of them, and they swirled around each other like mad. They talked very fast, and he could hardly hear what they were saying. Possible too, because his hearing was half frozen.

!5 Seals smallThey looked very much like Bluey, but much smaller. They had two large flippers on their side, no back fin but surprisingly, two fins on the rear. He noticed, they had two small holes above their mouth and a bunch of thin stiff tentacles either side of it.

He remarked to Bluey: “What strange fish they are.”
“No fish.”
“No? What are they then?”
“Dunno, but any fish.”
“There are many creatures in the water, and they are no fish…” Cedric commented pensively. “Just like me.”
Bluey nodded: “Yep. Just like you.”

They came darting towards Bluey, challenging him to race. Bluey enjoyed their company. He slowed down so they could keep up with him and he let them win, just for fun, but only he would know. He had learned long ago: ‘If you are always the best and the winner, you won’t have many friends to play with.’

§

For Bluey, eating always happened as fun while he was swimming along, and he ate a lot. And he was hurrying. Usually, he would stay up north for a long time, but because of Cedric, he wanted to return to warmer fields, sooner. There was only one more thing that he wanted to show his friend.

Floating Islands

! 5 Bluey under water iceberg small size

Bluey, Cedric, Iceberg and the dark Thing (Iceberg from internet)

Shortly after, there was the second time, when Bluey woke up his friend. The first thing Cedric noticed was: it was freezing. The water looked blue, he could even see it. He wondered: “What is the reason for this wake-up call?” Then he noticed some massive white wall hindering his view. Actually, it was blocking their way like an island.

However, in his experience, one could tell the closeness of an island when the ground rose and the water became shallow. This thing was just there, steep and rough, like the rock Cedric climbed up on the first day of his excursion to the upper shelf, but this one was much, much bigger. So large in fact, he could not see where it ended. It was white, and nothing was growing on it.

As you can easily imagine, Cedric burst of curiosity and completely forgot the freezing cold.

“My gosh,” he exclaimed, “what’s that? I have never seen anything this huge. What is it, Bluey?”
“That’s the bottom of an iceberg.”
“What? Don’t stop now, tell me more. You know that I have got no idea what you are talking about. Come on, explain, don’t let me wait forever.”
Bluey realised the advancing challenge: “It’s a big block of frozen water.”
“Frozen? What’s frozen?”
“When water gets freezing, then, it gets hard, that’s frozen.”
“Why?”
“Dunno, that’s how it is.”
“But it is so huge!”
“There is a lot of water out there, and it is freezing.”

§

A moment later, Cedric exclaimed: “Did we move, or did it?”
“It moved.”
“So, it’s not a frozen water island?”
“No, it floats.”
“What’s float?”
“It swims and hasn’t to do anything.”
“It is so big and has nothing to do? Why do I have to pump, then, and I am much smaller?”

Bluey almost wished, Cedric would go to sleep again. Since he did not know, he tried diverting: “Frozen water is called ‘ice’, and this is a floating iceberg.”
“What moves the iceberg?”
“Current, you know.”
“Is it so strong?”
“Current can move the biggest iceberg, probably bigger things, but I think there aren’t any.”
“Why does it move it?”
“It takes the iceberg to warmer parts of the ocean, and it melts.”
“All of it?”
“All of it. To nothing… ahm, to water, I mean.”
“Wow.”

Dark Things

Startled Cedric accepted this information without any further thought. While explaining Bluey, Cedric swam very close to this iceberg. Bluey asked him to touch it, briefly. He stretched out one tentacle and then one of his little suckers at the very end of this tentacle. It was so cold that it hurt. He got a fright. Moreover, there was something dark inside the ice, moving. He hurried back for safety behind Bluey.

“What’s that dark thing inside?”
“It’s our shadow.”
“Oh Bluey, you are a real challenge, today.”
“It’s when you get between the light and where it wants to go. ‘Cause it can’t get there, it gets dark there, and that’s shadow.”

“How come, you know all these things, Bluey?”
“When I was young and curious, the old fellows told me, more than often, it was boring, then. They showed me ‘matters of life importance’ and made sure that I remembered. Like: ‘don’t eat things when there are strings attached.”
“How come that I don’t know any of this?”
“ ‘Cause, there was no one giving you a hard whack with a back fin,” he continued with a rumbling laugh.
“Why is it important to know about shadows, Bluey?”
“Ah, good point. Remember when we met? What was the first thing you saw?”
“Ah, got it, your shadow. And, I was scared… a bit.”
“Best thing, run for life. Could have been a seastar munching monster. Later, you can still turn around and look.”
“Got the message, thanks. Hope you won’t whack me with your back fin if I forget,” Cedric asked timidly. Bluey burst out laughing, a second later, Cedric fell in, and it went on for some considerable time.

§

“That’s it then, Ceddy. Just wanted to show you this. Ready to go back into warmth, now?”
“Yeehaa,” this was Cedric, but he did not jump, it was too cold. He huddled under Bluey’s side fine and called out: “Into the warmth, Bluey, and don’t spare the herrings.”
Bluey laughed and shot off like a rocket. Since Cedric was secure under the side fin, there was not need for holding back.

Finding warmer Shores

One the way back they passed on the left what Cedric considered the edge of the water, but Bluey corrected him: “It’s two big islands… And ‘cause all good things come in threes, there is one way this way round and another one the other way round and even one way in the middle.” Bluey laughed at his joke. Cedric remained quiet.

! 5 trip around isles

The Three Way Islands and the Funny Island

He knew this was not the right time to ask questions. Otherwise, he would have heard for the umptieth time the whole rigmarole about seastars having no sense of humour and on and on, accompanied by plenty neighing laughter. In short: To say something would have been as useless as adding another dot to a dotted starfish.

Amidst all this percolating, he heard Bluey say: “Would you like to get some solid ground under your little suckers?”
“Isn’t it still too cold?” Cedric worried.
“Near the islands, it’s always a warmer,” Bluey confirmed.
“Thanks, Bluey, that would be really nice,” came a sigh of relief. Cedric thought: “He really is a nice guy, after all. Buggered if I know, why he behaves so strange, sometimes.”

Within a blink of an eye, Bluey had reached shallow water. (Oops, forgot, Bluey can’t blink.)
“Ced, I dash off for a while? I’ll be back before dark. Ok?”
“Sure thing, Bluey.” Cedric let himself drop off Bluey’s side, and he was off like a flash.

§

Cedric enjoyed tumbling down. What a glorious feeling it was to touch the ground. All his 600 and what not little suckers were ecstatically electrified (Just like getting out of bed after a lingering illness. Oh, what a feeling, feeling your weight on the soles of your feet.)

It seemed like a lifetime since the last time. He checked the sands softness: just ideal. A second later, before eating, he snuggled himself into the sand, retracted his eye, and he was off, cradling in the arms of Morpheus.

Two Types of Size

How refreshed he woke up, still wrapped in this feeling like being home, almost. Next job? The best job: Breakfast. And what a feast he found. If he had not been so occupied with eating, he would have jumped with Yeehas, all the time. In particular, he relished those micro crustaceans.

Isn’t this interesting? He had never considered them special, any food, in fact; he had been eating very indiscriminately. Whatever was near his mouth and did not move away fast enough, was as good as eaten.

However, this time, after he had missed all this for so long, his attitude was different.

Eating and thinking and thinking about eating totally engrossed him, when, suddenly, darkness settled in. “How time flies, when one enjoys what one is doing.”   However… He had not realised that it was still far too early for darkness. How easily can we be fooled? It got dark and Cedric did not check if it was a shadow.

Luckily, a few whiles later, he heard his friend’s well know deep chuckle. He notices, it was not dark, yet; it was a shadow. Disguising his slight shock, he called out:
“This must be Bluey!”
“Yep, it’s me. Well picked, mate.”
“You scared me once. I didn’t know that someone big like you existed. How did you explain ‘shadow’ the other day?”
“It’s when you get between the light and where the light wants to go, but…”
“What, but?” After a good sleep and the best meal he ever had, Cedric was sharp and fighting fit.
“At the iceberg, that wasn’t our shadow…”
“Bluey, don’t confuse me…”
“It was our reflection.” What followed was silence. Bluey didn’t want to say more and Cedric didn’t want to ask. How quickly moods can change in relationship from being happy to see each other, to confusion.

§

After some more moments of endless silence, Bluey began: “See the dark part on the ground, that’s my shadow.” Cedric was still sitting on the ground. He raised his eye to its farthest and looked.
“Aha,” came a faint, but significant response.

!5 eye of tuna perspective

Cedric’s reflection in Bluey’s eye

“Now, come up, close to my eye that’s looking at you… look carefully… can you see a light spot moving around, the same way as you move?”
“Mhm.”
“That’s your reflection.”
“That small?”
“Yep.”
“I am that small?”
“No, you are a bit larger.”
“That’s still very small.”
“You are my greatest friend, for sure.”
“That’s different.”
“Not really, you are a great mate, and that’s all that matters.”
“You just wanna be nice.”
“Nothing wrong with that. Come on Buddy, hop on and let’s move on to warmer waters.”

Still mumbling on about his size and being small, and the meaningfulness of being big, be seen and recognised, having significance and being considered significant, versus being small, overlooked and ignored, Cedric, wandered back to the side fin.

Finally, he nestled at the place where it came out of Bluey’s body, where it is the softest and warmest. Bluey felt it and gently brought the fin close to his body to cover and protect his friend. Not even a second later, he was off like greased lightning.

Particularities

They had not gone much further when the water turned markedly warmer. Bluey explained: “We are in a warm current. It’s the opposite way we want to go, but no worries.” He was quite chirpy, and Cedric asked if he could climb up between the top fins.

“Not yet, ‘cause I still hurry, I’ll let you know when, ok?”
“Sure thing,” Cedric answered in a Bluey’s way, like friends often do and tugged himself under the side fin, again.

§

Bluey followed the western coastline of the two big islands; the two with the one way in the middle, remember? Before dark time they arrived at a place where the ground was shallow for a long distance.

Bluey called Cedric for dinner, Cedric dropped to the ground. Bluey called out a caution:
“Stay well clear of the edge of the water. It changes depth very quickly.”
“Ok,” Cedric replied, and as usual, Bluey was off.

§

Cedric wondered why his generally very sociable friend immediately took off as soon as Cedric hit the ground. “Do all friends have such oddities? Do they develop them, or did they have them all along and one does not notice them? They would not hide them, would they? What would be the point of that? Friendship and honesty are synonymous. I’ll ask him at the next opportunity.”

A smorgasbord of delicacies was spread out in front of him. Who would want to ponder a second longer? Soon after dinner, making sure he was some distance away from the edge of the water, he snuggled into the sand, looking at the lights on the ceiling of the world for a while, wondering, and falling asleep over it.

§

When Cedric woke up, Bluey was already circling around.
“What a friend he is,” Cedric thought, “waiting for me patiently and letting me wake up in my own time.”
“Good morning, sleepyhead,” Bluey’s voice boomed, “hop on, up between the top fins, time to go.”
Cedric stifled his enthusiasm, marginally:
“Just a tick… a few algae and anything else that can’t run away, and I am with you.” It’s obvious; breakfast is ‘utmostly’ essential. One cannot tackle any adventure on an empty stomach. Shortly after, Cedric was residing at the top, his favourite place. Bluey swam on, half ahead forward, fast cruising speed.

!5 mont saint draw

Mont Saint Michel – France

“Wanna see a funny island?”
“Anytime, Bluey,” Cedric replied. “What’s funny about it?”
“You’ll see.” Cedric had almost lost his anticipation when Bluey caught his attention:
“I am going up. Look straight ahead.”

Cedric had a look, and he saw in front of them a small island, sticking up extremely pointy.
“Ever seen something funny like that?   Such a pointy island?” Bluey chuckled, shaking all over. Cedric thought:
“Yes, it’s very pointy. What’s funny about that? Maybe, I don’t find it funny, because I haven’t seen many islands?”

Cedric realised: “Even two beings like Bluey and me, we are so very different, in size in particular. He is a fish and I a seastar (he smiled inside). He likes the cold, and I can’t stand it, it almost killed me.

He is fast as a flash, and I have only just learned to pump. Still, above all that, there is something that brought us together, unites us and keeps us together and makes such an unlikely pair best friends.

The Way we breathe

For some time now, Cedric had noticed that Bluey was actually moving, constantly. As soon as he had settled in his favourite spot, he asked:
“Bluey.”
“Yes, Ceddy, what’s up?”
“Why are you moving around all the time. Can’t you stay still for a moment?”
“For a moment I can, but not for long.”
“Why is that?”
“Cause when I don’t move, I can’t breathe.”
“Really? I think, I breathe, but I don’t need to move for it.”
“Have you worked out how you breathe?” Bluey tried to divert.
“Not yet. It’s not easy to work out,” Cedric replied. Bluey chuckled:
“I know a good way of finding out.”
“How?”
“Oh, you know, you just need to go inside,” and he burst out in a rumbling laughter. Cedric laughed, too.

§

After a considerable time, after all had calmed down again, Cedric still had to ask:
“So, why do you have to move all the time?”
“Remember… told you… have to keep my mouth open? The only thing that slows me down?”
“Yep.”
“That’s for the water to come in; it runs over my gills and gets pushed out through the side flaps.”
“Is that why you dash off all the time as soon as I have a wonder on the ground?”
“Absolutely! The faster I swim, the more oxygen I get.”
“Ah, yes, I remember o-xy-gen… ahm, you have to move all the time?” Cedric asked with a sly tone in his voice.
“Sure thing.”
“What about in your sleep?”
“Yep, even in my sleep.”
“No! Really? What if you run into something?”
“Never happened.”
“Maybe, that’s why you haven’t got any eyelids. If you need to see in your sleep… you don’t need eyelids.”

§

What can one say to this? A good resolution is always a good laugh, and this is what the friends end up with. Sharing joy. Teasing, plenty; no harm meant, ever.

End of Part 5

Ω

Amadeus W.
Ingeneer

04 December 2014
heart chacra green blue purple orange low

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Part 6 is in writing, the title will be Beyond Scope.  There are ideas for three more parts, I’ve gone a bit stale on this, and there are other, more pressing things to write about.

Have you seen my website on fountain pens?  It’s technical, you know, I am an ingeneer.  Want to have a look?  Click here for Fountain Pen Magic

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