Tuesday, August 2, 2016

River Thoughts and Longears Caught

My wife insisted I take Sadie either to the river or the dog park, and though I have a lot of work to do, it's a good thing, because this outing of little more than an hour really took my day off where it belongs--off. I thought of the people up there on the Hike and Bike Trail, and though I have utmost respect for this paved path along the river and through the woods and have walked it many times with my wife and Sadie, I couldn't help but wonder about people who never seem to take a step off routes of all kinds through life that other people lay out for them and approve, rather than asserting their own freedom in a world open to limitless adventure and creativity. Earlier today, I fished north of Interstate 80, a 35-minute drive at high speeds, and posted about a different mood that never quite got in as deep as this jaunt around the corner from home near the complex that used to be AT&T World Headquarters, but most significantly--this river. The North Branch has been here longer than any humans, we merely named it, though apparently the Lenape came pretty short after its formation as glacial Lake Passaic drained.

Catching five longear sunfish fully satisfied. As I got in, wearing shorts and wading boots, I thought of the bass I caught earlier, how a 12-incher seemed small, but with my two-weight fly rod, a 12-inch bass here would be a revelation. Well, look at the photo of that longear. I never needed to hook up with anything larger.

Tomorrow I go back to my job, and though I thought about this a little towards the end as dusk began to fall, mostly I let it all go and stalked about with my camera and alternately with the fly rod, Sadie staying close by me for the most part, swimming back and forth across the river a few times otherwise. When I was in my early 20's, I thought quite a bit on what it would mean to really let it all go, abandon everything to live off the land as a vagabond. I felt maybe I could live adventurously that way, above all not get caught in the demands imposed on us ultimately by the most wealthy in our society who have a stake in keeping the status quo because it pays them huge dividends, while we work like hell for low wages, well, some of us do, such as myself.

Of course I never actually did that, though I did manage to live self-employed for most of 13 years from age 19. Not only is money necessary, I take pride in earning it well, doing my job the best I can, which means constantly intending to improve. Why resent a wage job paying little, when it's possible to advance? Bear a grudge against what you do, and it will not serve as a vehicle to move you onward. When I worked for a credit union 13 years, I could have earned promotions, but I liked my job on the road so much I refused to apply. Ultimately, money earned can't be gained through alienation, as Karl Marx claimed, because the only payment that matters must authentically confirm one's own person.

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