Saturday, May 13, 2017

Democracy, Individual Freedom, and Hitting the Holes

I digress. Get off the program. (Do you remember when "Get with the program" suggested we all stick to the beaten path?) I went back through some old posts before I opened this tab. Clear, well-defined writing that never loses sight of the definite subject in plain view for anyone to comprehend, and I assure you I'm proud of these posts. If not for ordinary reality well represented, anything extraordinary is doomed to failure. Every working man knows this, which is probably why so many are angry these days. I believe I made just this point in another way recently. The post, "Nothing without Feet on the Floorboards."

I got so caught up in other ideas writing last night's post, I forgot to make the point that since I have an ambition to write a book-length essay on fishing, I need to practice. I need to ferret out every advantage I can, because getting such a book published is very difficult. So Litton's Fishing Lines is experimental. From the beginning, it's about writing as much as it's about fishing, which is why I chose the word lines in the title. Writers form sentences in lines. Poets form phrases in lines. I spare my blog readers. I don't begin to experiment as much as I do in my handwritten journals.

I mentioned democracy last night. That's not only about people who fish stocked trout, but also people I work with as a wage earner myself. At age 15, I shot straight up in bed one night, suffering a terrible nightmare. I dreamed that because of my association with my fishing mentor, who to me was just an older friend, but he was a mentor, in fact, because of this association with a fry cook, I would find myself stuck in the working class as an older man. I told myself it just couldn't be. I was the son of a world-renowned musician, solidly middle class, advantaged in so many ways. I persuaded myself enough that it was just a dream to go back to sleep, but I knew better than to think that's all it might be.

A God-fearing young lad would have made damn sure to get that college degree. But as I wrote in the first paragraph, I get off the program. I don't blame my former mentor one iota. I went off the grid to discover the source of all that makes the grid and anything else. And I don't find my job a nightmare. At least, not any longer. But making it livable in a positive way involves sticking tenaciously to the program. To those tasks I not only must do; they are the reason I go to that workplace. I made my mind up about doing tasks before I applied there.

I knew, this afternoon: I have to advance a point about my belief in democracy. I try to dig deeper than any ideological rallying behind a collective nationalism. National freedom from foreign imposition is important to me, just as the political freedom to get involved in decisions that affect society locally or nationally is also, but I believe most in individual freedom. I think not only of my own potential and the difficult effort to articulate a complex vision of life. I think of the rest of us in a confused age of distraction also and never give up the hope that so much resigned cynicism will pass away as new possibilities for everyone become manifest.

I've made this clear. I want to write books. I'll add that I want to get paid, too. I've had dreams of far-off fishing destinations for many years. But as I've told Fred Matero, what would life amount to, if not for hitting the holes? The local waters familiar to both of us.

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