The Knowledge of a Koi Carp - Part 3
The Knowledge of a Koi Carp – Part 3
After being suspended for a seascape eternity, breathless with panic, Molly nowhere to be seen, I feel sudden movement. It is as though the water is moving me. I am pulled deeper – but I can breathe again. I acquiesce and allow the momentum to lead me into the light, my eyes still half-closed against the shine. Inside the light it is warm and strangely soporific. Immediately I feel new.
Ahead of me is a vast coral reef that seems to span entire the floor of the ocean. As I approach I see that it ripples with its own neon rainbow light; a breathing shimmer that passes through the static fingers of coral. I am guided under the lip of the reef and taken down, down and down. Beneath the ledge of coral is a world of bright, fleeting fish speeding through the water with shapes and colours I have never seen outside of dreams. Molly is here, up ahead, pacing back and forth slowly, fins gently moving in the clear blue. “You took your time!”
I smile and bubbles escape from my revised lungs, tickling my nose. I feel at ease, all panic now a distant memory belonging to a space in the ocean a few leagues above. If I stop to try and understand I cannot and each time it is as though my mind doesn’t need to. I am currently an underwater adventurer and I am not about to spoil the moment by rationalising or reducing the experience to ungainly facts and inconsistencies.
The seabed beneath me pulses with a similar rainbow shine and I am about to try manoeuvring my way to standing on firm ground when the seabed itself begins to shift. Molly watches me, her mouth making slow O’s. I flap my hands in an attempt to rise up through the water, glancing upwards to mind the roof. My movements are clumsy and human and not in the least bit piscine. I have much to learn.
In an instant the seabed turns over and reveals itself to be a large fish –roughly the size of a cosy bungalow. Bubbles and silt cloud the water and I can see the fish swimming away, but then it turns quickly, settling itself before me, its gaping mouth a deep, dark fish tunnel. Three more fish arrive from the depths and settle beside the large fish. The new arrivals are smaller, around the size of a wooden shed. Molly darts through the water and settles onto the back of the large fish. Together the fish glow with the same rainbow frequency.
Molly explains to me that this is the Fish Council. I look at each fish in turn; contemplating disbelief, then look at them as a group. This is something special; this is no Koi-polloi. It seems that Molly is an interpreter for the large fish on whose back she has settled, for the things I am told, the knowledge I am given, comes through her from the large fish, arriving as all her words do, inside my mind delivered in a languid Californian drawl.
“Welcome. We are the Fish Council. You are here to understand our knowledge. Do you agree?”
I nod by head slowly and feel the water tickle my hair.
“All of you come from the oceans. You did not come from the skies as some believe. Well, the majority of you didn’t. All life is born originally of the waters.”
I allow the words to roll around in my head before settling contentedly into by brain. It is a strange sensation, as thought someone has poked the thoughts in there.
The words continue to simply arrive.
“The sea is the blood of the Earth. Man has made the blood sick. If all of the fish die there will be no one to keep the blood clean. Man will die.”
As these words settle a devastating sadness breaks in my heart like a bubble. It is a solid ache that momentarily takes my breath away.
“You are born, and then you die. The time in between can go by in a blink and a blur. All that matters in this in between is love; love in all shapes and sizes.”
I have so many questions but Molly swims away from the back of the large fish. Each of the fish turns, one by one and swims into the deep without looking back. Molly swims close to my head and I feel a ripple against my face and I feel my body fill with an overwhelming feeling of peace. Molly is so close I can see the luminescent sheen of her scales. She dances in the water. I reach up a hand to touch her back with my fingertips but she darts out of reach. “Kyi Po Tang!” are the last words I ever hear from the beguiling, Californian Koi of Knowledge. “Enjoy yourself!”
Suddenly I am back in the square with no idea how I got there.
It is still Thursday in the city but my hair is damp. The sky is dark blue and silver smiling with stars. I replace the paving slab carefully, urging it back in place with my foot.
There is much I have to tell people; much I must do. I walk away from the square turning my collar up against a chilly wind. I put my hands into to my pockets as I walk away to find both are filled with the most beautiful shells I have ever seen.