Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Lament

There is a scene in the movie Gladiator where the gladiator imagines his return to his home in Trujillo, Spain. He walks through the wheat field leading up to his house, right hand outstretched, his fingertips brushing the wheat flower.

It is a scene that has stayed with me since I first saw it, so strong visually, almost evoking a sense of melancholy.

On every river, every time I fish, when I think no one is watching, I allow my fingertips to drag in the flow. The cold always comes as a shock, although it should not - steelhead are creatures of cold water. I can always feel the water dragging past my fingertips, as though steelhead water is possessed of a special friction.

I have lived the life of a city dweller, trading crowded schoolroom for busy office. I drive crowded highways to work, drinking coffee that others prepare for me. My food is rendered by others, often to the point that I no longer recognise the source.

I touch water most weekends but only touch something truly wild 10 or perhaps 15 times a year, when I land a steelhead.

I know my brother Ken aspires to fish without a hook point, in homage to our fish. He is inspired by one of the ghostly figures of our sport.

I find a I cannot consider doing so - the act of touching something truly wild comes to me so few times in a year, in a lifetime - I certainly cannot do so.

Not so long ago, a river, a river of my heart, opened for the first time in several years.

Only 600 fish have returned, from a race that once numbered 6000.

I will not fish, even though I could. With only 600 fish, if I risk killing even one, the loss is too much. I cannot face the possibility.

And to fish with no hook? Pointless, if the object of my desire is to touch something truly wild.

For now, I stand on the bank, unable to drag my fingertips through the water, with only memories of wild beasts.

Will the run ever recover? Will I ever feel the friction of those drops of hope, dragging against my fingertips, on the River of My Heart?


Friday, November 11, 2011

The quiet pool

The once busy river is now desolate. I walk alone seeing no one and hearing nothing but the sound of leaves softly hitting the ground and the lapping of water on the rocks. A weak sun hangs low in the horizon, barely clearing the canyon walls, occasionally cutting through the trees and mid morning mist in splintered arrows of light. I fish and walk in constant awe of my surroundings. Mesmerized by the beauty of fall unfolding around me. Later as I wander through familiar places,an amazing fish devours my offering and we dance a dance as the sunlight fades on this fall day. He battles heroically and slips away before I can touch him. I don't mind as it is a privilege to even come across a fish of his size.

One more fish graced  my presence before the day was done.As I drove away,winding my way up and out of the canyon, I had a grin on my face that I could not wipe off. It was so good to be on The River once again.

Perfect hen,floating line and old Sharpe's Gordon

 Some more stunning eye candy from my friend Scott. Just Beautiful

Remembrance Day

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.