Many moons ago, when I was an English language teacher, I had a rather imposing Korean student who said something to me that stayed.
At the time, young and somewhat naive, I thought it held great meaning, just beyond my reach, and it has floated around in my head all these years, waiting to drop into my consciousness.
I sat in the kitchen last night, frazzled and devoid of energy, while my fabulous fella concocted a quick and sumptuous ‘Saviour Supper’, and I asked him:
“So. Is it ‘Go with the flow’, or ‘Only dead fish go with the flow?'” Since those were the words my student had uttered.
I recognise it now as one of those rather macho business mantras, like ‘thinking outside the box’. ‘Only dead fish go with the flow.’ In other words, you have to struggle against the tide in order to… what?… win?
It was food for thought, and fodder for our conversation, too.
“But it isn’t true!” my lovely astrologer remarked.
Wow! Why hadn’t I thought of that before? Of course it isn’t true! Everything flows with the river. Most fish hang suspended where they are, or carry on downstream, rolling with life, experiencing new things.
Those that struggle upstream are driven by some compulsive need to procreate. They risk life and limb, they know not why. They are unable to ask themselves if salmonkind will die out because they did not launch themselves up that rock, against all odds.
But even that is not my point. I am not saying those that swim against the current are wrong, of course. After all, salmonkind might die out if they didn’t make that pilgrimage to the breeding ponds… although the chances are they’d probably find new spawning grounds, wouldn’t they? 😉
It just seemed a rather beautiful analogy for travelling along with life, or fighting against it; for compulsion or faith.