Tropic 2 – Godo

A long swim down the reef today.  Know better what I am looking at, having found a guide – angelfish everywhere with royal blue edges, the wide-headed square trunkfish and cowfish, the rainbow parrotfish that really are iridescent rainbows.  The yellow-and-black striped Sergeant Major, the four-eye butterflyfish, and various chubs, damsels, grunts, and snappers – the shy lugubrious squirrelfish, the well-named chameleon peacock flounder mentioned before, the trumpetfish more like piccolos floating at the surface… it’s an embarrassment of riches.

What are the eel-like fish of such delicate pastels are near the bottom? – they race to their holes in the sand if I come near.

Been afforded a few treats:  After the visit to the turtle farm, I ‘flew’ in the water with my own wild loggerhead, about the size of a small manhole cover, feeding on sea grass at the bottom.  He didn’t seem bothered about me, but I was excited about him – and with him I could keep up.

Saw nurse sharks (that might gum me, their teeth are small), 4-5’ long, soft brown with dead grey eyes – one sleeping one I made so bold as to grab her tail, but she just snuggled in deeper under the coral head.

Saw a lobster fight, that I occasioned.  These are the spiny lobsters (langouste) with no claws, more like big shrimp.  One sees them abroad occasionally, but mostly they are under the coral with only their long antennae waving out beyond their ‘cave’.  The biggest was abroad when I came upon him, and he raced for shelter as I swam in from above.  The shelter he took had another lobster in it, so they squared off for some posturing and the smaller one was unseated and (I’m coming down again) raced off for the next overhang where he displaced yet another, smaller lobster, who then winkled out a third who found an untaken seat.  It was ever thus.  (This ‘family’ of lobsters has become part of my daily visit – I actually know my way around the coral gardens inside the reef by now.)

I have seen a few of the gray stingrays one can cuddle out at ‘Stingray City’, but I find them a bit ugly as they bottom-feed.  Yesterday, I was treated to a Spotted Eagle ray, winging under me like a relaxed bird with its sad old dog face – black snout, grey whiskers as it were beside his jaw – he is a black diamond from above, leoparded with gold, a beautiful animal, I salute him and watch him out of sight.

The current is so strong that I do not want to fight my way back, and come ashore to walk back on the little tarred road.  It is late afternoon, and the road is very hot.  I decide to try the Godo walk, having been reminded of it by my memories of Peter and the trip to the dolphins.  Walking heel first, he said – borrowing from Steiner, I think – that walking by coming down on the heel is a way of saying, “I don’t want…” with every step.  Therefore he recommended the Native American way of stepping ball of the foot first, letting the heel drop softly after the weight is mostly transferred to the ball.

Of course it’s a quieter way of walking, and I am curious that it is so much easier to maintain with my right (dominant, gestural) foot than with my left (postural) foot, but I persevere.

I don’t know if I changed my inner state of desire (“I notice, I notice…”) or not, but I did come home with a whopping set of blisters under the distal transverse arch (under my middle toe balls for the rest of you) – because of the heat or the novelty or both – that had me walking on my heels for the past two days.  ‘ I don’t want’ – these blisters!


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