Death has the strongest of all odours. The putrid smell of decaying Salmon is inescapable along the shoreline of the Pacific West Coast waterways in the fall. It is nature’s way of signalling that an important transition is occurring. The life cycle of the Salmon is an example of one of the most dramatic transformations of the natural world.
The story of the Salmon run is one of a great return. The Salmon travel tremendous distances to find their place of origin. There are inexplicable, natural forces at hand. The Salmon know, as if by instinct , exactly where and when to manifest this epic journey. The purpose of this massive physical effort is to create the next generation of fish. This is to ensure the long-term survival of the species.
It is in their end of life stage that the Salmon create legacy for the species. It is the final and most important activity of their entire existence on earth. The legacy is ours to comprehend as well. The Salmon teach us so much more about ourselves and the significance of this material life we are gifted at birth.
Our own voyage on earth is also a kind of return. It is a fundamental quest to reclaim our birth state. In the beginning, we are born in the purest form of our emotional states. We are a vast, blank canvas devoid of all negative emotions. We are in the simplest form of our being. What a comforting notion to consider that we are whole at birth. Everything is as it should be. We do not place any effort in growing. Our physical development just happens. It is in our DNA. We are essentially born at peace and filled with loving trust. What a magnificent story of hope and potential this is for us as well.
I look at the scene in front of me and I see a beautiful metaphor. This dead fish has successfully completed its life journey. It is also a metaphor for our own life. I understand now that there is infinite beauty, here, in front of me. I place the love letters down to honour the insight into my life. The work, and the art, reveal an important truth. It is a message with everlasting meaning which must be shared. I harness my creativity in this moment because it is through artistic expression that we ultimately nurture a deep connection to our humanity. Art helps us understand on a higher level the meaning of our own journey.