Only Dead Fish Swim with the Stream


     The quote in the card in the picture comes from Ernest Hemingway.  I received the card as a birthday gift from a good friend over an excellent cup of coffee.  I remember reading about how Ernest Hemingway boarded up his window in order to write.  He needed time to think on the inside, without distractions.
    Coffee can be a way to stop, to think, perchance to write, but not necessarily.  For the last few days, I have been thinking about a hero of mine.  I never hear anyone talk about him these days–Malcolm Muggeridge.  For most of his life he was a heavy drinker, womanizer, and maintained a sardonic view of life in his journalism.  He came late in his life to God.  In his later life, he took some stands about materialism and sexuality that weren’t too popular.  He is the one that said, “Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.”
      He said he felt like a piano player in a brothel,  every now and then playing a Christian hymn in hopes of edifying the clients and inmates.  He wasn’t the most popular person in some quarters.
       Sitting and drinking coffee is a way to stop and think about the barrage of culture invading our thoughts.  In graduate school, I had a professor who said, “Treat every book as a potential insult to your intelligence.” We need to do that about all the waves of cultural palaver.  If we don’t stand against the current some time, we may begin to smell like dead fish.

Taylor Field
Upside Down Leader


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