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Fish Medicine

Lo De Marcos, Nayarit - October 17, 2023


This morning it was fish.

What was the message, the medicine of the fish? I think I became a vegetarian this morning. LOL. It started out, after my morning yoga, I was all sandy and sweaty so I have taken to getting in the water and going for a swim after yoga.

This is one of my favourite things actually, beach yoga and a swim right after. It sets you up for your whole day.

I'll be honest, I kind of miss the cold water of Tofino, but I am making do with the warm soup that is the Pacific down here. So this morning, I get in the water and swim out and as soon as I am in water over my head, a FISH jumps TOWARDS me and plops right in front of my face!

He jumps clear out of the water from about 5 feet away, straight TOWARDS my face!

It happened so fast it freaked me out and I started laughing, slash, panicking.

I was a little heebeejeebeeish at first, wondering maybe the fish was being chased by something bigger. Do they have sharks here? LOL

Why was he flying straight towards me instead of being scared away? Like what is all that about? What is the message? Why would the fish jump towards me? Was it a coincidence? Was it random?

It makes no sense because it felt like he was aiming himself at my head. Then get what happens next... After I swallow my fears and swim around a bit, I come out and lay on the sand to get some sun. I am in an unpopulated area of the beach and no one is around me at all except for a fisherman in a red shirt. We acknowledge one another. He's cool. I am resting face down on the sand, super relaxed and melting in the sun. All of a sudden, a heck of a hullabaloo breaks out! Fisherman is shouting something I can't understand (turns out he is shouting the name of his friend down the beach and telling him to come) because...

he has just hauled what is probably a 2kg fish (a very large fish) out of the water and has thrown it on the beach about 6 feet away from my head! He is so excited, a look of elation on his round face. Its a huge fish. He is overjoyed and yelling and at the same time saying "sorry" to me because of the uproar and for all the shouting and throwing a fish at my head.

Here is another fish flying towards me! Que paso! I say "muy grande, el pescado" (very big, the fish) and "buena suerte" (good luck) to which he replies "thank you!" in English. He detaches the fish and leaves it there near me to go off to fish for some more and I am left there watching this poor fish gasping for air and flopping around...

I couldn't believe what was happening.

To see something die right before your eyes... it's really something else. It was horrible. This beautiful creature who only seconds ago was swimming free in the great Pacific was now in a terrible situation. And there I was, nothing I could do. I couldn't throw it back in, the man would have strung me up. I couldn't conk it on the head with a stick to put it out of its misery. So I laid there and felt that fish's suffering.

I felt how it would feel to drown in air, to not be able to breathe, to gasp and thrash around. It was absolutely devastating and I could do nothing. I put my head down and cried. I could feel his body flopping on the earth as we laid on the same ground. Oh man. It was awful. It takes a long time for a fish to die, left on the hot sand in the burning sun. It takes a painfully long time. In that moment, I was sharply conscious and aware of feeling what I was feeling. As I write this, I am simultaneously googling "do fish feel pain when they suffocate?" Of course they fricking do! Oh man. I eat fish. I eat all kinds of animal flesh. I want to be a vegetarian again but lack the political will. Perhaps this will do it. Perhaps feeling this fish's suffering will do the trick. I make a vow in that moment to be a vegetarian today. I will eat beans and vegetables, not fish, at least for today. And maybe I will do it again tomorrow.

And maybe the next day.

And maybe the next...


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