There's something deeply calming about these fish (at the Southwest Acupuncture College, in Santa Fe). Whereas the ostensible purpose of my visit had to do with my re-flared-up rotator cuff (I suspect the relict of a long-ago ski injury - it's certainly been painful enough of late to prevent me from even contemplating the fresh snow up there), it also calmed me down ... well, maybe it wasn't just the fish: maybe it was the spiking, and the being prodded with burning incense, and the foot sauna - the wonderful foot sauna. Who knew that my shoulder was quite manifestly attached to so many other parts of me? But I'll give the fish some credit, too: being Piscean, I always think they help a good deal.
And calmness, concentration, focus ... all lasted into this evening, when I succumbed to weeping in front of the TV at watching Obama's farewell speech, which had all the strengths (the high-mindedness, the inclusive rhetoric, the forward-looking-ness) and all the weaknesses (the high-mindedness, the inclusive rhetoric) of his presidency. Not I think that these are bad things, of course, and yes, he did talk about the importance of democracy, a free press, and the rest of it. But something with just a little more partisan bite, given the sheer inconceivable awfulness of his successor, wouldn't have come amiss.