Fish Bowl

"The Goldfish Bowl" by Henri Matisse

“Fish Bowl”

The fish can see us, says the child, as she stares

rare to find such honesty from adults

the child understands the two-way mirror

Adults only acknowledging their principles raw

we look and seek for errors in judgement

errors in our own behavior management

Yet, the fish swims in his tiny bowl

“He can see us,” the child says

staring at the fish bowl, seeking nothing

but entertainment

Learning from the child’s words

I acquire a new rhythm

a new stance

The fish can see us

perhaps we should smile

could it be that simple

perhaps it can.

* this poem was written by yours truly in 2002, an oldie but goodie.  I have been thumbing through old journals.  They are so interesting to read and look at.  I have found that the older I get, the more reluctant I am to write my dark thoughts down, in fear of someone finding them, judging them.  I have especially been doing this when it comes to sad thoughts.  I am going through a difficult time right now, dealing with the pending death of my mother and a recent miscarriage. 

I was so faithful to my journal in my twenties.  I carried one everywhere I went and it was my duty to write down my thoughts.  I wasn’t as jaded then.  I still believed in miracles and fantasy dreams.  I will get back to that free spirit soon enough.  I just took some heavy turns, as I curved onto the highway to adulthood.  My father died and that was something that certainly…certainly what…I don’t know what word to put here.  It certainly was something. 

I am a big believer in journals. 

NYC Journal by memomuse circa 1998

A friend of mine recently told me she wrote down all her deepest and darkest thoughts in her journal, at fourteen years old, after being date raped.  Her mom found it and put her in a mental institution.  She said she will NEVER EVER make that mistake again.  She will never write down another thought or feeling again.  I tried to encourage her to start a new journal, but she said, ‘No. No thanks,” with a certainty that was real.  I told her I would make her one.  Still, not even a flinch.  I don’t blame her.  Can you imagine?

Anyway, back to the fish bowl.  What do you think of this poem?  I don’t really know what it means.  I do like the line:

“We look and seek for errors in judgement

errors in our own behavior management.”

 For me, that line rings true this week.  I made an impulsive memomuse move and it was pretty inconsiderate.  I just got really excited about something and wanted to be a part of it when it wasn’t mine to be a part of.  I do that all the time as a journalist and writer.  I want to experience things, if not through me, through words and photojournalism.  I’m a weirdo sometimes.  But I feel mostly misunderstood.  I feel like I could say, “You know I have Asperger’s syndrome, does that explain my behavior?”  I don’t really have it, but I feel like I lack social skills sometimes.  I just want to zip forward to straight up feelings on the rocks.  Honesty on the rocks.  Let’s cut the bullshit and tell each other how we really feel.

Jumping in Fish Bowl

Perhaps I should watch the fish swim more instead of trying to jump in the bowl with them. 

This post is random. 

Hope you have a great day.  Thank you to the new subscribers and old.  I don’t know how you found my blog, but I’m happy you liked it enough to see it in your email inbox.  I really appreciate having readers.  I hope my words wrap themselves around you somehow, perhaps like a bean pole vine, climbing and twirling in cascading circles and twists.  Perhaps they hammer at you like a chisel and break down a barrier.  Perhaps they lift you up and make you feel like you are not alone.  Just know, somehow these words embrace me as I imagine you reading them, somewhere across the globe.

2 thoughts on “Fish Bowl

  1. I don’t remember how I found your blog, but I’m glad I did. It makes me think, feel and reminds me that I’m not alone…and neither are you.


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