I am a Fish
Pisces- creative, empathetic, changeable, idealist, escapist: the net product, ages zero to twenty nine
I am a fish. I swim, and the pool I swim in is dark and warm. Waters rush, my mother heaves, and I am beached. Thrashing and bloodied they haul me to land. A violence so contrary to my nature. The fine filaments of my gills shrivel in the air, and I cry out for my watery home, but they don’t understand what I say.
I am a fish. Only a little fry. A fingerling. A playground game is a stage and I am a great performer, my imagination running wild. I am a prehistoric ruler of the sea. I am Neptune himself. I am the most me I think I will ever be.
Confrontation hits. My waters become electrified, and I dive deep and deeper, into the cool and the dark to escape. A struggle at the surface; another creature suffers, and the ripples radiate through my waters, buffeting and bruising me. Another’s suffering, also my own. The white bellies of the gulls swoop and furrow the water above me, so I stay deep. I compact my personality into a neat ball and swallow it down, like a pellet of food.
I am a fish. I am a goldfish, priced at 50 cents. I am told my worth, told to limit myself to the bowl in which I am housed. It will determine my growth. I do not argue. But my bowl is made of glass and I can see beyond the distorting curves of its walls. In my imagination, I escape. I am a priceless koi and I grow to huge proportions.
I am a catfish. I could be anything. At one turn a glass catfish. They see right through me. At the next, an electric catfish. 400 volts, and those around me take notice. A tidal ebb and flow. The white water rapids, and the still reflective pool. I do not know what I prefer.
I writhe and flash. To an aquaculturist, the behaviour of a fish uncomfortable in its environment. A spike in ammonia, a chemical injury to the tissues. As in any poorly maintained tank, parameters spin out of control in response to waste of my own creation. A self-injurious process, seemingly unavoidable.
But the waters still, and they clear. The whirlpool recedes as I mature, and I am free from the confines of my tank. I am a fish. I am a parrot fish. My efforts create the sand. The very substrate upon which the ocean is built, and I know that this is important, and I am pleased. I am a parrot fish, and most don’t know that I exist, but for a select few I show my true colours, and I am resplendent. Iridescence rivalling macaw, eclectus, amazon. But I am not a bird, I am a fish, and I still feel I might never truly fly.
I am a fish. I am a clownfish. I am funny. Once again I am a performer, a creator. At one with the bright and colourful world of the reef. Chronic illness, insecurity, indecision. They are all the stings I bear in my anemone home. No one can tell they are hurting me, and I pride myself on it.
I am a fish. I am a lungfish. I gather my strength to move to the land, once so foreign to me. See? I breathe the air, just like anybody else.
And I am just fine.
I am a fish. I am a flying fish. The air no longer my limit. I am magic. The sun, catching on the salty droplets on my fins, sees me jewel-encrusted. I still may dive, and take solace in the cool silence of the deep. Still attuned to the water and to its inhabitants at a molecular level, I may still retreat, or through refraction, magnify a problem, allow myself to become consumed. But when inspiration strikes I can rise above it all- and as well as any bird, whole and content, I can soar.