22 Aug Octopus Collector
Octopus Pillow in Natural Linen by D.L. Rhein
There is no mystery: octopuses are surrounded in mystique. Whether they scare you, remind you of your child’s favorite book, tickle your taste buds, or inspire you to think into the deep, they are undeniably unusual beasts. Their existence in our world is, like their tentacles, far-reaching: octopuses are found on pottery three thousand years-old, used in geometry tables, starring in science fiction movies, and at the core of happy songs written about their hobbies. What other animals can you say all that about?
First of all, I would like to clear up a little grammatical confusion: the plural of octopus is not octopi. A myth, you say? Yes! Thank God for less confusion, and Fowler’s Modern English Usage Dictionary!
Anyway, back to octopuses… I would like to say that one octopus stands ahead of all other octopuses, as far as I am concerned. The one I am speaking of is the star of a Beatles’ song, but it is not her star power I am attracted to. You know the song, about a “garden in the shade,” but do you know the story? The way I heard it, Ringo Starr was on vacation with his family in Sardinia, aboard Peter Seller’s yacht (this enriches the tale even more). Ringo was talking to the ship captain about octopuses. The captain told him that the octopuses down below collect shiny objects. They gather shiny objects such as stones and shells and tin cans, and arrange them in front of their caves… creating an Octopus’s Garden!
You’ve got to be kidding me. An octopus collector? That is my kind of girl!
A runner up in the octopus world is Paul the Octopus, who was the standing (or treading) oracle of Germany for two World Cup seasons, predicting the winner by his selection of a mussel. An octopus! Sadly, he passed away this year, but his inspiration lives on.
Speaking of inspiration, I have always admired people who inspire others to push beyond their limits. Marjorie Marantz was one of those people. She was my fifth grade teacher, and she didn’t treat me like just a child. She recognized the seed of creativity in me, and she helped me water it until it grew into a plant. I wrote a book. Did the book, you ask, have a name? It did indeed. It was entitled Ollie the Octopus. Even back then, the creatures very capable of mulit-tasking intrigued me. But, there was more to it then that. From that point on, I knew without a doubt, that I am in pure happiness when I am creating.
When are you in pure happiness?
Is it when you are with your children? Eating a wonderful meal? I couldn’t help but notice that someone else had octopus on the brain this week: Master Chef had it as the key ingredient in one of the final competitions. Congratulations, Jennifer Behm!