Last night I went back into Litton's Lines archives to read some posts. I felt them as fresh as though written presently.
I have a friend in mind who might frown on my being publically outspoken in others more recent. He once told me that words can do more harm than nuclear weapons, a suppostion I could not agree with. He's a photographer who tends to shun language. Or maybe it's a symptom of something worse than that.
If you go back in the archives and spend some time just enjoying pieces I've written, you might agree with me that most of them are really fairly soft spoken, even when I implicate officials in "No Fishing at Merrill Creek Reservoir," for example. But on occasion I write themes that run strongly against the grain of everyday ordinary realities. If no one did, no progress could exist for the obvious reason that everyday reality is always the same. It is, without something rustling the window curtains at least.
I think what makes this particular brand--Litton's Fishing Lines--a stable, reliable source is its chief form of accounting for particular outings. I began writing very young. The first article I attempted to write got published in what was then The New Jersey Fisherman at age 16. By age 18, 25 stories of mine had been published, one of them in the world's largest circulation fishing magazine at the time Fishing World. Those are chiefly how-to and where-to. For Litton's Lines my accounts of outings celebrate themes just as particular as the score. If you enjoy an intangible contact high, that's because I embed universals, but I always do so in ways inherent to the experience recalled. I recall the line about today's Tom Sawyer getting high on "you," the rock band Rush's lilting exclamation. I think these words of the song are sort of silly, but that's about what contact high amounts to. The strict definition is that a contact high is a psychological transference from someone under the influence of drugs. I find that conception way too limiting. It's not a drug that's essential to such suggestiveness, but personal presence; whether involving a drug or not, we all know the experience of being turned on by someone.
When I remember my beginnings, I never fail to be grateful to getting published early, because it seems to have ensured that I will always write with freshness--that is, youthfulness and vigor, and if I seem to go over the top sometimes, this is not really because I lack ordinary sensibility, but because I have spent 35 years writing constantly to have produced a life of my own that is tiered rather than level on the flatland of the moment. I see possibilities people I know do not see. And I try my best to relate them, to make a contribution.
That doesn't mean I see none of the possibilities they see.