Journal » Trout 13 » The Stone And The Fish [Cath Vidler]
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The Stone and the Fish

Cath Vidler

1. There was a stone. The stone was self-cleaning. The stone did not speak out of turn.

2. Someone poured water on the stone. The stone shone and was beautiful. The stone did not know its own beauty and continued to clean itself in silence.

3. The stone was watered until an idea emerged, to immerse the stone in permanent water. Someone placed the stone into a small tank. Handfuls of water were required to fill the tank, and once it was full the stone shone like an enduring sun, and the water around the stone was an icy sky sparkling, even at night.

4. Though the stone did not know its own beauty it slowly began to grow exhausted by it. Yet the tireder it became the harder it shone, a middle-aged sun flaring defiantly. On top of this, the stone continued to clean itself, which only increased its beauty. No one could possibly have known the stone's inner deterioration. Its silence deepened.

5. But someone was wondering about the stone. That glow. So intense, like a fever recently experienced. And so loud! A brow was touched in unconscious empathy. It must be a cry for help. Perhaps the stone was lonely.

6. A Siamese fighting fish, chosen for its fear of large spaces, was purchased and placed in the tank as company for the stone. The fish was the colour of the sky, so this day its scales shimmered, deep and royal and blue, and small white mists were travelling purposefully across its body.

7. Though the stone was blind, it felt the fish's sad orbit in tiny traces of current. How did it know the fish's essential loneliness, the violence that would end even the most peripheral encounter with another? And how did the fish know the stone's beautiful exhaustion?

8. A kind of exchange is taking place in the water. Something from the stone. Something from the fish. Something has been taken care of. And all the while our clock hands twirl, like crazed planets round a dying sun.


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© Copyright 2006 Cath Vidler & Trout.