The Golden Carp

The Golden Carp. NIshikigoi, or Koi as they are known have been a part of a culture for centuries in Japan that honors the history and mystery behind this beloved fish. A symbol of determination, ambition and achievement, the legend speaks of the carp that struggled to swim up the Yellow River in China, fighting against all difficulties of water currents to reach the top, where the calm waters are... to become a dragon.

I did not ask, I did not seek and I did not knock. The gift of these treasured jewels as they are known, was placed gently in my hands. Working as an infrared photographer and running a gallery, my free time was spent studying Japanese culture and garden design. My property became my canvas, and the "Ki",  the energy here became enlightened when I designed my first pond and began to import Koi from Japan.My clients would come to purchase an infrared print... and be so intrigued with the Koi that the conversation was no longer about invisible light and energy... but the beauty and awe of these amazing creatures. So the Golden Carp, with it's own light and energy began to change my world.

Somehow, in their own magnificent way... I became empowered by them. By giving them what they needed, the basic clean water, food and attention... I saw a change in me. I did what was right by them and I began to educate other Koi Keepers on their proper care. Then came the rescue calls. The Koi Rescues were a mission of mine, as I knew I was the one who had to speak on their behalf, and the Koi Whisperer was revealed.  Letters were taped to my garage door, newspapers were calling, and the Japanese Breeders were contacting me on the work I was doing for the Koi. The Golden Carp had a voice now, and there was no turning back.

As a photographer for over 40 years I knew that they were living art. I began to capture them on film and video, both in their brilliance and in their time of need. The Koi Rescues became the foundation of the work that I do at the Koi Whisperer Sanctuary, and to this day is the research I need in providing holistic care for the Koi. In attending a dinner for the Portland Japanese Gardens, it was when one of the Japanese Masters who designed the Portland Japanese Gardens  bowed to me and thanked me for the work I was doing with the Koi. I knew this was my calling.

As Founder of The Koi Whisperer Sanctuary the mission of importing, rescuing, healing, adopting and educating for the Koi becomes, instead a vision. A very clear vision of the difference that I can do, one Koi at a time.

Life has a way of coming full circle. It always has and it always will. Once, where I photographed inspiring images in infrared, and lectured on the Nishikigoi within the garden this spring, I returned once more.  A nineteen year old Koi named "Colonel", named after Colonel Fabyan who once owned the Fabyan Japanese Garden, needed to be rescued. The Kane County Preservation Society called, and I was there. The most challenging rescue yet, I was able to locate Colonel under frozen ice, and with a canoe, bring him to safety. Mud bottom ponds are difficult with Koi Rescues and combined with the frozen ice... a challenging situation became a success as he knew I was coming to help. Under extreme conditions of ice I was able to break through and slip him gently into my net. Colonel will spend his winter here at the Koi Whisperer Sanctuary where he will be loved and cared for until returning to the Fabyan Japanese Gardens next spring.

In this season of holiday gift giving, see the sacred in your every day life. Your children, your family, your friends. Treasuring nature and caring for those that do not have a voice. That is where you will find your own Golden Carp... in this extraordinary light that exists and connects us to each other.

The gifts are all around us. In Zen Living, that is what is revealed. An unspoken language of signs and circumstances that are placed gently in your hands.

Love & Light...



copyright 2012 M, MaryEllen Malinowski, Infrared Light International for Zen Living by design. Photo copyright MaryEllen Malinowski, The Koi Whisperer Sanctuary 2012

Yamabuki Ogon, "Lotus"  and "Baby Ki" owned by MaryEllen Malinowski.

The Koi Whisperer Sanctuary



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