So I've been to Portland once. Only once and between the coffee shop in the morning to the brewery at lunch to the relaxing afternoon I spent with a friend, that town can do no wrong for me. Bellingham, Washington I have been to a couple times and every time, I hit the same burrito place and the same bar. I keep the experience at these places limited and so they keep a pretty amazing place in my head. These are good times for me because they existed and well, ended. I know I can't eat burritos all day and if I spent all day in a brewery, I'd be broke and probably not in a state to do too much else. The point is, these are brief moments of greatness that exist in my mind, a lot like the flight of a fish from one guy to the other. This happens and it's over right? The throw, the flight, the catch. It's over and if you see it, you can now remember it (and the facial reactions to this one are still a big reason I work here). But in real life, the clock continues to tick and it's a new moment now...and now....and now.
What sparks this ontological questioning? Did I watch Back to the Future today? No. Have I been discussing the show LOST too much? Probably, but I will spare you and not draw any parallels. I bring this up because I am continually amazed at the space of our fish stand and how it just does not exist any where else. That's one thing but what's even more staggering is how simple it is what we do (often times because it's not what we do but rather who we BE when we do these things).
We talked about miracles at our last work meeting and how they happen and what is significant about their occurence. Somebody said they can usually be defined in hindsight. To recognize a miracle while it's happening is a rare occurence but when you think back to something, you can almost talk yourself into it being a miracle. "It happened and as quickly as it started, it was over". I look at some pictures on our facebook page and whether it's a couple that bought our first plastic gift card or it's one of Japan's most famous anime artists in Seattle as a keynote speaker for SakuraCon, it always started with "hello! you guys doing ok? Questions?".
I'm often asked who the most famous people people are that I've met at work. Even though David Beckham tops that list and I shamelesly couldn't help but speak in a demented Geico-gecko version of an accent to him knowing full-well he makes most women on the planet unable to stand, I also remember that his wife was across the street buying produce while I wrapped up halibut and dover sole as his kids caught a fish and he smiled like a proud father. This was a great experience but I also remember the two giant manila envelopes of mail we just got from Mrs. Brown's elementary school class in Hutchins, Texas asking us questions about our jobs and what we like about what we do. I remember days we had 40 pound king salmon on the display, I remember last week when we had 2.99 a pound buffalo and gaspergoo fish. These are all things in the past and they're over. All we have is now and all we have is to BE in the now.
I think what makes Pike Place Fish have so many miracles what makes my times in Bellingham and Portland so great for me are one in the same and that is awareness of who I am in the present and who we are as a creative space at 86 Pike Place.
The buddhist belief of nirvana is of a reality that knows no change, decay or death; too bad we don't live in that. Where we do live is our own individual reality to create and I know for me, it has peaks and valleys but when I choose to have fun in my reality, others want to too and when my buddy Ryan wants to sell some fish or some crab in his reality, sonofabitch someone shows up and buys a 20 pound case (none of us knows how he does this). So until Doc Brown, Marty McFly or the guys from LOST can control the reprecussions of our past actions in the time-space continuum, take these as reminders to get present and keep a mindful memory for miracles that may have happened...........and don't forget to celebrate them!