Within the Belly of a Fish

'Within the Belly of a Fish' Ink and watercolor drawing by Jina Wallwork.

Within the Belly of a Fish - Jina Wallwork


I’m surrounded by flesh and bones. I imagine the outside world, yet I’m consumed by fear. To escape would be a wonderful thing. To cut through the surrounding flesh and discover a new world. To stretch open the mouth of a fish and climb out of this prison. I sharpen my blade with every thought, and as I plan my escape, I try to ignore my reflection in the water. I imagine becoming a butterfly or a form that would allow me to walk on the grass. I dream of many things, but when I wake, I know that I’m trapped in the body of a fish.

I’m a fish, traveling through shallow waters and imagining what life would be if I didn’t think, feel, and behave like a fish. In this moment, I have lost the joy of being who I am. I can see the world through the ripples of the water, and they distort my perception. The life of a butterfly looks so much easier than my own life does. Being a fish isn’t easy. Perhaps I need to swim to the depths of who I am and discover what is special in the life that belongs to me. I need to rediscover the magic of being a fish. There are experiences that are open only to a fish. They consist of a range of joy and sorrow. If I accept who I am, maybe I will discover those experiences that bring me happiness and accept those that bring me sorrow. When times are hard, I think it would be easier to be something other than a fish.

I am within the belly of a butterfly. Oh, to be a fish and swim through the ocean! Life must be so much easier and more carefree.


'Within the Belly of a Fish' Ink and watercolor drawing by Jina Wallwork.