The Rainbow Fish

I was reading The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister to my students the other day and it struck me that the lesson in the book can easily be interpreted as pro-minimalist. The fish is advised by the wise octopus to give away one of his most beautiful sparkling scales to each of his friends. It not only wins friends (hmm) but also relieves the fish from his concern about damaging or losing his shiny scales and allows him to frolic with the other fish.
Marcus Pfister is not wrong. Getting rid of stuff does relieve a lot of pressure. Especially if you have an upwardly mobile almost 11 month old baby roaming the house. As such a situation requires, all our dooby-wats and knickey-knacks have been moved off the bottom shelves and out of low flying cupboards. There are a lot of blank patches, once dust free. It gives you an opportunity to imagine life without those shelves of thing-i-mi-bobs that don’t have a purpose. Frankly, I’m not too fussed about that stuff anymore, no matter how cutesy vintage it is. Well, except the vintage Japanese kitten sugar bowl and milk jug. When you pour milk out of the spout it looks like the kitten is spewing. That’s entertainment right there.
Anyhoo, slight stray from topic. The other day some friends were over with their almost two year old son. He wandered off into another room and his Dad raced after him. I called out “Don’t worry if he breaks anything, it just gives us an excuse to get rid of it.” And you know what? It’s true.
As 2-4-1 carries on (current update: 15 in – 82 out ) the decisions are getting harder. We’re having to face the prospect of giving away sentimental objects and things we love for no reason except that they’re beautiful. Our thinking needs to shift even further to accommodate where the challenge is taking us. It’s kind of exciting.

Mama xo


2 thoughts on “The Rainbow Fish

  1. Wow, I’m so proud of you guys, and so inspired too. There must be something in the air, or perhaps it’s all this talk about throwing things away that I too have begun a spring clean. As our bathroom is getting renovated it occurred to me that I do not want all that ‘stuff’ returning into our new shiny bathroom. This has now started a tsunami of ‘throwing away’ and I’m now in the laundry. My major concern with all of this is that I do not want to just throw away things that can be reused. I really want a garage sale but as we live out of town on a farm, a garage sale here wouldn’t get too many customers. To my excitement I have found a community Garage Sale happening in town next month!! I’m loading the trailer and taking our ‘good stuff’ to Grandma’s where we can off load onto others who perhaps need this stuff. Now I just hope my husband can share my enthusiasm (with just a little more acceptance that he currently has) and join in the revolution!!!

    NB: this throwing away does not include salt and pepper shakers that happen to pour salt and pepper from cute animal’s heads, or alas precious items that souls who no longer share this earth with us left behind.

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