I have been wanting to do something with two fish interwined. The interplay between the dark and light fish reminded me of the yin yang, so I brought that into the center of the drawing, too.
The expression “catch and release” kept coming to mind. And I realized the concept is just as much about the fish as it is the fisherman. The wise fisherman is happy to hold the fish or enjoy the catch. Or he takes only what he absolutely needs and leaves the rest for others. Or tomorrow.
This balance exists in sea life, too. One part of the larger body gives itself to the fisherman, while the other, the taker, gets free take out, and escapes for another day.
As I started automatically drawing waves in the next layer, I was reminded how the waves follow the same natural rhythm with their ebb and flow. So I drew some of the waves going out while the others were coming back in. It also makes sense that all of this is occurring within a circle because our lives are so cyclical, with all of us obeying the ever-changing, great circle in the sky.
I also imagine the polar opposite fish are in a codependent relationship. It looks balanced from a distance. But when you get a little bit closer, you can see that one is sucking the life and color from the other. But it’s important not to feel too sorry for the giver, because they are getting something out of the relationship, too, or they wouldn’t be there. They are just happy to be needed.
If one of the two tries to flip the script, it upsets the false balance, and throws everything off. They will try to draw each other back into the circle without boundaries. If this doesn’t work, the taker will scramble to find another life source. And the giver or rescuer will likely attract another lost soul. It’s very difficult for either party to escape their role.
I started drawing clam shells in one of the rings that ended up looking more like loaves of bread. And this reminded me of the New Testament story about the loaves and the fishes. It’s a really positive story about an outpouring of abundance in the form of food. This makes sense, because the sea is a source of so many different kinds of nourishment. They say it has healing powers. And I believe it.
On a personal note, I’m really surprised that this is what I am seeing in my mandala drawing today. I guess you never know what you are going to find when you look beneath the deceptively smooth, tranquil surface of the sea. jt