ex animo infinito symphonia maxima

Category: Vignettes

The Goldfish

Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light.

Plato, The Allegory of the cave

I don’t remember when I hatched, nor do I remember who my parents were. The earliest thing I can remember is swimming around my rock in a large tank with hundreds of other goldfish. I remember seeing “!elas no” on a big green sticker adhered to the glass wall of our tank. 

Life was good. All I had to do was swim around all day, and every evening the lights would dim and a great giant five-fingered tan being would descend from the heavens and, using its magical powers, would open the sky to sprinkle nourishing flakes of hazel-colored food. All the while I would swim around my rock, explore and hide amongst its crevices, and escape the bustle of the open water. 

But everything changed one fateful day. I remember being physically jolted by a harsh, rhythmic sound coming from the front wall. As I swam over to investigate, I noticed that the normally blurred images outside the glass were more distinct, and I saw a strange creature: it had a face like an oval, with a mouth full of smooth, rectangular teeth; it had red lips, wide brown eyes, and red hair. Every five seconds or so it would smash its fingers against the glass. It felt like it was pointing…pointing at me.


So life, continuing its unending struggle, moves on, if perhaps futilely, in search of a new home, a new sanctuary, a new paradise.

Oscar Scholin, 2019

Reaching for fresh cerulean sky, mountains of fire climb slowly from the cool Pacific depths. The gods’ fiery wrath gradually calms, and the sea breathes a sigh of relief….Lapped by the gently sculpting waves and crushed by the forcefully pounding breakers, the harsh, jagged edges of the rock beaches erode into pure black sand, and the ancient skeletal remains of living organisms coalesce to form pure white sand. Eventually, small dots of green lichen colonize the salt-crusted volcanic rocks, and wild grasses begin to grow on the barren black landscape. Strikingly beautiful sunset-colored hibiscus, with rings of white surrounded by hues of amber, scarlet, and faint pink, bloom as if kissed by the morning sun and watered with the drops of silver moonlight. Sweet fruit trees blossom, as if by the magic of some Arab genie, from the grass-covered rocks and imbue a darker hue of green to the newly formed islands….

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