August 7, 2012

Changing Axles & Miraculous Fish

In my last post, I mentioned that my Suzuki Grand Vitara had a bent axle shaft. My mechanic told me that the car would be useable until I could find another part, but that I should look for one at a junkyard -- to buy a brand new axle with installation would end up costing more than a ten-year-old car is worth.

The car had some other issues as well and I knew that such a fix would only be to put a band-aid on a terminal condition. Realistically, the Suzuki would only last for another year or two. For weeks, I kept calling around to junkyards with no luck, all the while the sound of the axle was growing more pronounced. Finally, as I was driving home from work last Monday, the din of rubbing metal emanating from under the car had become so loud and violent that I feared for my life behind the wheel. I knew right away that my Grand Vitara had driven its last. I was lucky that the Hyundai dealership was willing to accept the old car as a trade-in. By Tuesday afternoon, after looking over my monthly budget and making a few tweaks, I was the owner of a beautiful Santa Fe. It's not a brand new car, but it rides like a silk dream and I'm very happy. I look forward to many great road trips with these new wheels.

On Tuesday evening, I had a performance scheduled at the Sachem Public Library, so it pleases me to say that my very first ride in the new car was to a gig. The whole experience made for a special evening. Speaking of which, the program that I put together for the Library was called "A Musical Odyssey." I caught it all on video. You can see it HERE. The audio quality on this clip is a little muffled and I had to do some creative editing to narrow it down to 15 minutes, but I do like the performance. I hope you enjoy it too.

One other thing that I would like to relay in this post is the story of my Miraculous Fish. I've had a twenty-gallon octagonal fish tank in my living room for many years now. Currently, I have a giant angel fish in there named Petroushka. He's about three or four years old. On the day I got home from the road trip, I noticed Petroushka floating on his side at the top of the tank, his gills pumping rapidly. I did a quick water change and adjusted the pH, but I've seen this many times and fish in such a state never make it through the day. He remained floating on his side and, at food time, he didn't eat.

I was very surprised when I turned on the light the next morning to find Petroushka still floating on his side, alive. Though, for the second day in a row, he didn't eat and I knew it would only be a matter of time. To be humane, I always leave an ailing fish in the tank until it has expired. I doubt there could be anything worse than to spent one's last moments in a cesspool, so I would allow Petroushka to float in the comfort of his tank for as long as it took. On the third day, I was shocked to find that he was still alive and I said a little prayer. I didn't want this fish to needlessly suffer, so I prayed for God's will to be done.

That was a month ago. Petroushka is still floating on his side and still very much alive. It is amazing, inspiring, and utterly impossible. I am dumbfounded. If and when this fish does pass on, I will give it a proper burial in my garden. Petroushka, the Miraculous Fish! Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places.

"And we have known
and believed the love that God hath to us.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God,
and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world."

~1 John 4:16-17