Monday, January 22, 2007

Poor Fish


This is a tale of a fish. My poor poor pet fish. I’ve watched him grow from a tiny sliver in a bag to the big bully fish in the tank. Yes he can be quite feisty and while I can sit and chuckle safely on the oxygen side of the glass the other fish go scurrying when he comes by.
Well last week while cleaning out my fish tank he attempted a quick getaway and actually flopped all over the downstairs with half my family running away the other half in hot pursuit. After a sharp rebuke he was flipped back into the tank. I went to the kitchen for about 5 minutes and when I came back he was gone once again ! I was beside myself.. I thought I had covered it better.
We looked all over but he was really gone. Incredibly my pet fish had escaped!
How many people can say that?
The next morning on my way back from shul something caught my eye. Right there in my azalea bush on the side of my house was my poor fish. He looked absolutely exhausted and I couldn’t help but admire his tenacity and determination (yup..u gotta turn to fish for some inspiration these days). After respectfully covering him with a white handkerchief I went home sat on the couch and started thinking while abstractly staring at the now much happier fish tank.

Where exactly was this little guy going? I would imagine he was instinctively trying to get to his natural habitat which happens to be Lake Malawi in Africa (yes the continent). I couldn’t help but laugh at the sheer futility of it.

He died flipping and flopping to get from 12,435 miles 78 feet and 3 inches to 12,435 miles 53 feet 1 inch away from the shores of Lake Malawi.

Then I wondered at our futile struggles in this world. Is someone somewhere watching us and chuckling at our futility? Instinctively we are all looking, searching and yearning for something, the source of our existence, our habitat. Our souls are restless yet we spend a lifetime flipping and flopping until we collapse of exhaustion and then it’s over and we are as far from the source as my poor fish is buried from Lake Malawi.









I feel like it needs an explanation, so I'm posting it from the comments..

You see even though he was so far from his Lake..I managed to recreate his environment in the tank with the right water ..PH levels and temerature..
Once he left that environment is when his troubles started.

Hashem creates for us spaces where we can survive and be attached to our source..even here...Its when we leave....

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24 Comments:

Blogger shy said...

WOW I'm speachless!!!! This hit home wow what a stunning message!!!!!we have a fish tank we all love the the fish, thanks for the eye opener

January 22, 2007 4:01 PM  
Blogger Open Up! said...

you're so depressing....we all try and try and try and in the end it's all for nothing? oh thanx a lot!

January 22, 2007 6:03 PM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

LOTSA HUTUS TO FEED ON THERE

January 22, 2007 7:01 PM  
Blogger Mata Hari said...

I'm envisioning the animated movie. Who will play the voice of David?

January 22, 2007 8:47 PM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

That is a sad thought. I sure hope my life isn't like your fish, I plan on actually achieving some of my goals.

January 22, 2007 9:20 PM  
Blogger chana said...

no, no. thinking about life like that isn't only pointless - it's counterproductive. not healthy. G-d forbid.
well, on some levels it is true... like trying to attain happiness throught materialism, etc. but not when it comes to re-uniting with our source. then - yagati umatzasi tamin.
i'm a believer.
(maybe because i need to be.)

January 23, 2007 1:13 AM  
Blogger chana said...

no, no. thinking about life like that isn't only pointless - it's counterproductive. not healthy. G-d forbid.
well, on some levels it is true... like trying to attain happiness throught materialism, etc. but not when it comes to re-uniting with our source. then - yagati umatzasi tamin.
i'm a believer.
(maybe because i need to be.)

January 23, 2007 1:13 AM  
Blogger knaidel maidel said...

In life, sometimes the fish will get the last laugh. Everyone else may ridicule him for his futile efforts, thinking he has not achieved anything just because he is still 12,453 or so miles from Africa, but he may very well have had the most awesome life experience along his journey. And they, foolish spectators, will never appreciate it.

Laugh, world, laugh. I may not reach the greatest heights, but if I die trying at least I will have achieved meaning on the way. It only seems aimless because they didn't know where I was headed in the first place.

January 23, 2007 1:32 AM  
Blogger Pragmatician said...

Indeed in the eyes of 'The Big Fish'(no pun intended) we're very much like that little fish.

January 23, 2007 4:40 AM  
Blogger It's All Good Now said...

Humans, like fish, can never stop moving. We either move up or we move down. We progress or regress. But constant motion is vital to our existence. It's part of the Master Plan. The Master Planner is the One who knows where we're going and how He intends for us to get there. He's pulling our strings, while letting us puppets think that we are in control. HA!!

January 23, 2007 9:22 AM  
Blogger rebeccabeth said...

Beautiful!
Is there any happy ending for us??

January 23, 2007 10:07 AM  
Blogger megapixel said...

question for ya- when you sit down to think these deep thoughts, is you wife yelling at you "david get off the couch already and help me put the kids to bed?"

January 23, 2007 10:22 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Ok...You guys are missing a Fundamental Element in the story..

You see even though he was so far from his Lake..I managed to recreate his environment in the tank with the right water ..PH levels and temerature..
Once he left that environment is when his troubles started.

Hashem creates for us spaces where we can survive and be attached to our source..even here...Its when we leave....

January 23, 2007 10:45 AM  
Blogger anonym00kie said...

ok, at first when i read it, igot really depressed.. now that youve explained it .. its a little better.
i still dont like being compared to a flippy floppy fish gasping for air.. and freedom
but..
youre right.. if we run around looking to be elsewhere than where we are, to be someone else other than who we are.. then we will find in the end that we wasted our time

hmm.. ya, its still depressing!

January 23, 2007 12:07 PM  
Blogger Chaya said...

I couldn't help but think about Rabbi Akiva's comparison of Torah to water and Jews to fish (OK I just taught it).
We think we know what's best for us, but what's a fish without water???
Nice post btw

January 23, 2007 2:06 PM  
Blogger kasamba said...

Ah, so true!!!
Betchya it was a gigul fish!!!

January 23, 2007 2:38 PM  
Blogger chav said...

aww, comon... I doubt that we're doing so poorly. Isn't the goal of a yid to have emunah & bitochon, and do his best? We're not measured so much in quantity as we are in quality. The pursuit alone (never mind how much we get done)of Torah & mitzvos is what brings us closer to our Source.

[sigh] Maybe an inspirational early morning trip to the lake is in order...

January 23, 2007 5:06 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Shy...
Thanks. Yes fish are beautiful and relaxing to watch...

open...
read the explanation...

limey...
what about the tutsis?

mata...
I'm quite capable of doing it myself..and if not we can always ask Nemo..
lol

swfm...
read the explanation..

chana...
thats right..if u chase satisfaction...ur left empty..

January 23, 2007 10:12 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

knaidel...
thats true...if were fighting for the right things...then the effort is rewarding...

prag...
yup..

itsallgood...
hmm good analogy...

rebeccabeth...
only time will telll
Thanks!

mega...
lol
oh no..the time and atmosphere have to be right
I have my thinking times..

January 23, 2007 10:31 PM  
Blogger Jewish Smörgåsbord said...

A lot of truth which made me thinking. But isn´t sometimes good to go out of your comfort zone? Take some risks and not just stay in your corner of the tank?

January 24, 2007 1:29 AM  
Blogger ann said...

oh my goodness we had a fish like that too... he was enormous from a tiny little thing won at the fair... we saved him so many times, but sadly he also met his maker.

I love your blog... very interesting

January 24, 2007 7:15 AM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Ok gosh you should explain first unless of course you do this to get more comments lol.

January 24, 2007 9:05 AM  
Blogger exsemgirl said...

This sounds like the movie finding nemo! ;)

But honestly if we didnt strive for things way beyond us which we have no idea about would we ever succeed with anything?

So often people try and try for things that seem so far from them and things that they have so little understanding for. Yet so many do manage-we have to try to go beyond what we know as our limits or else we will be stuck within our four walls for the rest of our lives.

Brave little sad fish - he may have died trying but at least he tried.

January 24, 2007 11:18 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

smorgasbord...
Yes...many times ..something inside makes us want to...pushes us to..but that doesnt mean that we're doing anything...it might feel right...because we're out there..feeling like we're doing something...

ann..
oh..sorry to hear..the life of a fish..
Thanks

swfm...
lol..oh...if i wanted more comments I'd just post about sex..lol

exsem...
Yes..they based the movie on my story...!
we do have to strive...but within the realms..of whats permissable..

January 24, 2007 3:51 PM  

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