There is this piece, by Samuel Schudder. “Take This Fish And Look At It”. I read it in class last semester and it did seem farmiliar, but I just could not place it. A few days ago, however, before I wrote “Looking At The Drapes” I remembered where I had first seen it. I was thirteen years old, and in my final year in primary school. The head mistress had called me to her office, and as I waited on her, I saw it on a seat placed outside her office.
The reason I recall this particular piece is because of a number of things. The story itself is one. It tells of a young man studying to be a scientist. He goes to this class and the professor basically gives him a fish specimen in a jar. Over time, the professor asks what the young man saw while looking at the fish, and every time, the student, though struggling, manages to come up with an observation. He tries so hard to look at it that at one point he draws the fish down on paper.
Schudder’s article reminds me of a number of things. Persistence in our endeavors, hard work, humility, love for what we do, together with lots and lots of patience. These are things that we often forget as we go on with life. At least I know that at one point I get too lazy to see something through and this piece is actually more for me than for you. It is to remind me that no matter what, we need to get up, dust ourselves off and take one more step. One more look at the fish, because you do not know what you might just learn unless you look more closely.