Fish Kingdom

Fish Kingdom

I am very fond of my aquarium. It’s not that large, but exists as its own little universe, green, fluid and tranquil. I keep freshwater fish and live plants. At one with the water, fishes fascinate me in a primordial, archetypal way. Each kind has its own personality; some are laid back, some are skittish and shy, and others are belligerent. They coexist peacefully, though now and then someone will feel the need to act rude.

Shy Little Fish, by F.T. McKinstry

I love to grow things in the earth world, so naturally I wanted to try my hand at water. In this realm there is a delicate balance between plant, water and fish that’s more obvious than that of the earth because it goes awry easily and when it does, things get bad in a hurry. It took me a while to get the balance right and now I’m vigilant about keeping it. This has given me a renewed respect for nature, which does this seemingly without effort.

Danios, by F.T. McKinstry

The watery realms provide an interesting metaphor for painting, as the creative process when I’m moving oil paint on a canvas is watery in sensation and feeling.

My fishes would approve.

© F.T. McKinstry 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Elric the Fish

I am an aquarium geek. I love things that live underwater: fishes, creatures, plants. On my desk I keep a male Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). He has his own castle, a mountain and a forest to live in.

A cared-for betta can live several years or more, long enough for me to get quite attached. I don’t always give my betta an official name. But soon, after watching the beautiful creature flit around, showing his long fins and flaring his gills at the glass, I end up calling him something. I called my last one “Fish.” Yeah, I know, not that imaginative. But when he died, the name didn’t matter. He did.

After properly grieving Fish, I got a new betta. This one is white, like an albino. His gills, when he flares them, are the color of shadows. After going through a lukewarm collection of names I had a brilliant idea of calling him Elric, after a hero in a swords-and-sorcery saga by Michael Moorcock.

Elric LurkingElric of Melniboné is one of my favorite heroes. I don’t write that many book reviews, but I wrote one about him. An albino from an ancient race of sorcerers, he is beautiful, his gods are evil and he is tortured as all hell. And he bears a glorious, cavalier attitude not unlike that of a Siamese fighting fish.

Every writer has a muse. The gods are watching.

 
© F.T. McKinstry 2013. All Rights Reserved.