So there I was, transformed into a me-sized salmon, lying in a hospital bed awaiting death and rebirth.
In Auspicious Accident: Part One, I’d had a fall; that night, a vivid and meaningful dream, in which I found myself prone on a hospital bed in an ankle-length salmon-pink nightgown. I ended Part One with: There’s something fishy going on here … I’d figured that the colour of the nightgown related to fish. I was a large sick salmon! I’d figured from the dream that I was awaiting death, but also rebirth.
I knew fish as a Christian symbol. My fall (I fell off the kitchen bench) came just after the selection of the new Pope. It was also days away from the Vernal Equinox (the beginning of Spring), a time of rebirth in nature. A new Archbishop of Canterbury was about to be enthroned. I was intrigued when I saw that the mitre worn by the new Archbishop at his ceremony was decorated with three intertwined fish. Did you know that the mitre derives from the head of a fish, its mouth gaping to the sky? These three events (note the sacred number three here) are all about the ending of one cycle and the beginning of another.
The fish is a fertility symbol in many faith systems. (Here’s birth again). The geometric form, the Vesica Piscis, (in English, fish bladder) is another significant fishy symbol in Christianity.
Salmon is special among fish in that it returns to its origins in order to spawn. It swims upstream (against the flow) to spawn in its original place of birth. The fish is also important, I read, in Celtic Christianity. And in particular, the salmon. Oh, here is Kells again, tying my dream in with my current art project: Below the Line.
The message of this dream was that I was going to die but that I would also be reborn, artistically. I was going to have to swim against the flow in order to give birth. I was going to have to change things. Or maybe the process was already underway (I think so) and I was being urged to persevere.
Strangely, since the dream, I’ve felt stuck. I’ve struggled to unstick myself and not succeeded. Then the day before yesterday, I wrote the whole first draft of a short story in about 8 hours (over 2 days). It’s for a competition. It’s a science fiction story. It even has a (romantic) sub-plot. It contains an incredibly beautiful image. It has a theme and message. What I achieved is unprecedented for me.
I had changed my approach. And I realised what my stuckness had been about. In changing my approach, I’d been striving better to swim upstream and there’s a point when you do this, when neither the force of the water nor the efforts of the swimmer, is winning. So there’s a motionless moment before one other overcomes the other.
And I won.
I hope I win the writing competition, too. Keep swimming upstream! You are more powerful as a being than any force of nature!
- An Auspicious Accident: Part One (annisik51.wordpress.com)