Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fish Tales

The other day, while walking in a nearby mall (the weather outside was frightful), I happened upon this rather unusual looking fish. Compared to Arnold, our family goldfish, this fish certainly is extraordinary. After staring at it for a while, and taking its picture from various angles (he seemed to pose like a movie star or a famous model), I couldn’t get the fish out of my head. It was swimming around in my thoughts for hours, and it wasn’t long before I began comparing the fish to some people I know.
There’s been a lot written about introverts and extroverts lately, and although it’s quite possible that this fish is extremely shy, it seems more likely that if this fish were a human being she/he would be quite happy to take center stage. It seems logical that a fish (or a person) with this much happening on the outside must have one helluva story to tell.
But I also know from experience that some of the most interesting people and stories (and perhaps, fish) appear to be very ordinary and unremarkable on the outside. All those frills and gills may be impressive, but they don’t really mean that this fish has had a more fascinating life than say, the average trout. And if this fish could talk, who knows if he would tell a tale that would touch one’s heart or make one laugh, or whether the fish would just be chattering on about how phenomenal he is.
Would this fish (if he/she were human) have a “better” tale to tell than the average mother who’s just given birth, or the average guy who’s served in the army, or the average nurse, teacher, janitor, or homeless person on the street? Or…the average guppy?
On the other hand, just because the fish is glitzy on the surface, doesn’t mean he’s not deep. He is what he is, and that’s as it should be. Would that we were all so apparently happy with the way we are.