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.
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.
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.
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 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.