Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How Explain Fishing to Someone Who Doesn't Fish?

Think I'll fish the canal soon. Winter felt very long as I tended the rod here in the middle of it. It's been good, every visit, but I think once or twice walking the tow path and pitching for pickerel will mean more involvement and interest. How do you explain that to someone who doesn't fish? 

In everyday life, there's never occasion. Fishing's like music: rhythm, tone, variation (of melody, instrumentation, voice). Fishing involves rhythms of walking, casting, wind, responses from fish. Involves water tone. Temperature has a sort of tonal quality. The sky has tone, and plant life, rocks and soil. All sorts of inner emotional responses to environmental variations can elicit melody. There's nothing like stepping away from distractions (road sounds tend not to be healthy and countering this by radio or c.d.'s can tend to get desperate). You move into a natural environment where ideas emerge without the performance demands of the road. There's a difference between highway thoughts and thoughts when you slow down and absorb a large environment. We all know about road rage. I've never met a fellow angler out here in such a mood, not even in stormy weather. The closest we come to that involves the exuberance of fighting a really big fish, but rage? Nah.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Thoughts on Temperature, Comfort, Civilization, Outdoors. Bluebird Skies and No Trout at Round Valley Reservoir

Bluebird skies and no trout. I did see a dad and very young son on the dock with rod and bobber by the gravel launch to the left. Funny seeing a red and white bobber in use with 28 degrees. Now it's goodbye to cold weather, so enjoy it while it lasts. I just wish I could get out on the ice, and I suppose some were out today to the north in New Jersey. I loved the enveloping pressure of cold on me today aided by breeze, and while I detested cold as a boy, once I tried ice fishing at 15, I began to like it. As a boy I enjoyed a lot of comfort at home and I was very conscious of how good all that felt. Hot weather felt exciting as if comfort at 70 degrees was keyed up in the way that comfort is the prerequisite to energetic good times. I'm just imagining things, but it's interesting to speculate on. Why does any temperature feel good? Just because we can survive without clothes at 70? Perhaps cold is punishment and guys like me who enjoy it have a need to feel the oppression and like it because they honestly desire and yearn for redemption, the cold being a strong dose of penance. How about the old phrase, "Put him on ice"? This seems really crazy, but I went to church every Sunday as a boy and teen (besides at age 14 when I quit choir for a while and fished instead), and I'm only human. Anyone exposed to all that solemnity will have a hard time of it, especially when his father is an employee of that church. At least it was Episcopal. But I usually have no resentment for that. If it made me capable of enjoying cold weather, that's a plus as far as I'm concerned. I certainly appreciate the comforts of home, but I wouldn't want to feel I could only accept life behind walls. I want to feel I belong with the planet out there. I go out on my own terms, but I develop that logic right out there participating in the real world. So sometimes I'm not sure if I'll return home to that sweet sense of security, since the outdoors has no limits and if you go too far, it takes as long to return. But walls and bars, the kind that keep prisoners in jail, have a lot in common. So if enjoying the weather is penatential, if I spelled that rightly, at least it's out in the open without guard towers looking down on you, but I had forgotten about our government's domestic drone project for a moment. Oh, well. It's still a nice try. And you never know, maybe a better genius than Foucault will come along--all could Foucault could do was tell us that our civilization is an incarcerarium. A genius who can actually liberate the prison. I guess he would have to return from a very faraway place.   

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Summer's High in Deep Winter's Discontent: Leap a Writer Captured

 Sometimes you wing it. Second post I've done today. Happened to go into blogging functions and review post-viewing numbers, and opened the post on Whitesides Mountain from August, including this photo of my son looking up at me catch this unexpected photo. We had a number of series of grand times all summer. I remember that after this day's adventures, it felt like I would never come down as if I had permanently escaped the absurdities, strife, and disappointments of everyday life, and I have to work a wage job, mind you. I didn't miss a day of work all summer and fall besides for vacation and bereavement. That's saying a lot for outdoor and writing discipline: that it can elevate a sensibility enough to see through and over what most complain about. It's how we all feel life should be.

And although since November I've been down deep in dark valleys--it seems that every winter on the road is pretty tough--during this time, I've been caught in a vicious circle of doubt about life only once that I remember. Even with feeling as if the death is nearby, a writer can have the power to find the process interesting and not succumb to fear, even with a winter's deep discontent. Interest engenders hope and calm acceptance, because even things that suck gain as a value by thought, and in the case of one's being a writer--get captured.