The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

A Tale of Two Jellyfish

In the comments of my last post, long-time visitor and commenter on my blog, Hindsfeet, from Bird's Eye View, said that while she enjoys my photos, "can I tell you, I miss your writing...your muses.....(that's a compliment, by the way)....well, just thought I'd cast my unsolicited vote there...you have some really interesting wheels spinnin' about in your noggin and I miss riding some o' those trains of thought of yours : )"

Earlier this year I changed the name of this blog from "Ramblings of the Bearded One" to "Painting With Shadows" to reflect the shift in direction and emphasis in my creative expression (see this post). I'd noticed for some time (see this post back from June 2009) that I'd stopped thinking in terms of blog posts and started thinking in terms of photographic images, and this was beginning to affect the content of this little corner of the Internet.

This is not to say I've ceased having philosophical thoughts about life, only that I'm less likely to take the time to hone them into a concise written piece for the blog - quite simply, this written form of expression doesn't flow as easily as it once did.

However, a wee while ago I wrote a short story I wasn't sure quite what to do with, and it's sat doing nothing since. In light of Hindsview's comment, perhaps now's the time to post it.

Enjoy.

Or scratch your head.

Or ignore and come back next week when I might have some photos up.


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A Tale of Two Jellyfish


Once upon a time, there were two little jellyfish, floating in the sea, carried along by tides and currents far beyond their control. Tentacles dangling down, they had to wait until passing food was swept into their path before they could eat, while hoping they in turn wouldn’t be swept into the mouth of something larger.

Unable to do anything about their destinies, they lived in the moment, making the most of the here and now. Their lives might be over tomorrow, but today they were alive, and that made them happy.

One day, one of the jellyfish discovered that if he concentrated really hard, he could cause the dome at the top of his body to contract and release, which had the effect of moving him slightly.

This discovery had a profound impact on his outlook. Suddenly he no longer felt powerless, but realised he could change the course of his life. Now he could go in search of food rather than waiting for it to come to him. And most of all, rather than be helplessly deposited into the jaws of a passing shark or turtle, he might, just might, be able to swim out of the way.

From that day on, he was constantly fearful of not finding food, and of the real and constant dangers all around him, only too aware that while he had some control of his direction, it was still very limited compared to the currents of the ocean.

However, this ability of independent movement did give him a slight advantage and he outlived his still happy, but clueless friend who was swept into the path of a passing swordfish. Thus he was able to pass on the knowledge of how to contract and release his dome, along with his nervousness, fear and anxiety to the next generation.



13 comments

allencapoferri said...

Good story! As you probably know I've always loved your writing and have an affinity to ocean tales with marine life.

injaynesworld said...

Have you noticed that it's always "fear and anxiety" that gets passed onto the next generation?

Hindsfeet said...

so, I got home from work tonight around 10 PM (long day), and finally got settled in a bit ago, had a little dinner and donned the jammies, then remembered your note about your post.....

Kim, I can't even tell you, this was really touching for me tonight....what an honor to have a writer I truly respect and admire, a thinker who's noggin I appreciate, somewhat dedicate a post to me....

Thanks for this tonight, Kim, your writing is always a breath for me...and this....although sad - wow, what a choice....blissful yieldedness to come-what-may, or intentional living, the angst that can accompany Choice because of the responsibility inherent therein (we all say we want Choice, but not necessarily the fine print of Responsibility that inevitably accompanies that package...), unless it goes well...unless we choose well....I suppose sometimes that happens, and that gratification may be more than the happiness engendered just getting food that happened to float by......I don't know...something to "think about for five minutes".....

....and that's what I love - and loved tonight - about your writing...always something to think about, in this sea of too-often-insubstantial that we find ourselves floating about in...

...well, Kim, suffice it to say, you made my night.....and touched my heart....I really did miss your words.

I'll give this one a re-read before I tuck in, which should be soon...."the coach has turned into a pumpkin" over here....

sweet day, as always, for you and yours, Kim...

warmest always,
Liz~*

Pat said...

Food for thought that wee story.
I'm greedy and would like both.
I realise I am very lucky to have had many hours of chat with you.
Incidentally we don't have the problem with too hot showers in the winter because - and I worked this out myself- the central heating is on:)

Kim Ayres said...

Allen - probably ripe for a 2 or 4 comic book style illustration :)

Jayne - we are descended from the anxious, the paranoid and the obsessive compulsive. Our more relaxed forebears were sabre-tooth tiger fodder...

Liz - I wrote this because of an inherent conflict within - do I try and change the world or do I try and find peace? The problem appears to be these 2 actions are mutually exclusive. I'm pleased it gave you pondering material :)

Pat - I hope we get the chance for many more hours chat :)
And I'm still amazed you could cope with that scalding shower of yours - it defeated both me and Rogan!

Guyana-Gyal said...

You don't need pics for this. It's a well-told tale, I think you peek into the hearts of people.

Kim Ayres said...

Guyana-Gyal - I peek into my own heart, but realise that we're all pretty much the same underneath :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

You are so right. I've always maintained, if I want to understand others, look into myself.



Kim Ayres said...

:)

Hindsfeet said...

revisited this tonight, Kim.....was reading your latest post (which, again, reminded me how much I'd missed your writing), and delved in here for more....

...good timing, as i am once again "in the valley of decision"....such a valley it is......good to have some control, to not be just floating along, accepting whatever comes my way, but the double edged sword of choice is a sharp one.....

....good, probably, to have choice, versus living by default, abdicating my life to whatever current comes along.....but sobering to have choice too, when you dont have the crystal ball that should come along with it.

so you make the list of pros and cons....weigh out safety versus freedom, and all the stuff that doesn't show up on paper, try to listen to your soul, let the 'child' in you chime in while trying to let the 'adult' in you lead.....

...such balance to strike......

....think I'll go on ebay and look up crystal balls for sale.

I can't help but sympathize with Kierkegaard right now....when he said, “I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.”

...a bit nihilistic.....but, resonates with the jellyfish story, and makes me feel less crazy in this old ocean.......

what thinkest thou, my friend?

warmest always,
Liz ~*

Kim Ayres said...

Liz - This is for you:
http://kimayres.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/this-is-for-you.html

:)

Hindsfeet said...

....so very grateful, Kim......thanks so much, my friend...

~Liz

Kim Ayres said...

Liz - anytime :)

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