Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Desiderata

It’s been a long winter. The lack of exposure to direct natural light has left my mind as blank as the white frozen landscape I’ve been staring at during the daily commute. I’ve sat down a hundred times since the last blog post with ideas and words close to pen but haven’t been able to translate them into anything intelligible, much less interesting. This got me to thinking a while back as to why am I writing a blog anyway?

This thought crept into my mind driving back from the Somerset Fly Fishing Show at the end of January. I found it so relevant that I drove most of the way home in silence thinking about it. I’m no stranger to long periods of silence, ask anyone who has known me longer than an hour. All I can say is I was born that way, been that way all my life and have stopped feeling self-conscious about it. Now I find it amusing in a Louis CK kind of way. At the show my friend Steve made a comment to me about my signature fashion statement…the two of you reading this who know me know where this is going…the work boots and the scruffy unshaven face. He was totally complimentary in commenting on it and added that it takes confidence to rock that look. It’s most likely psychologically rooted in the opposite but after twenty five years it’s become comfortable and more or less permanent. Over beers with other friends that night, again being complimentary, he said that my presence in social media and the blog-o-sphere is interesting because it's contradictory to his perception of me. I think the word enigma was used. I’m cool with it.

During the fly shows this off season many people commented to me in person about this blog. Some said they really liked it and my “style of writing” and some wanted to know why I don’t blog about fly tying and more “how to” topics instead of, and I quote, “Hallmark Channel stuff.” My reason for starting the blog was to make observations about the people I’ve met on the water, the places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen. The things that at the end, just before the lights go out, I hope I remember. There are a million people posting fly tying tutorials and videos. I do periodically post pictures of flies over on Facebook and yes it’s in part to promote my business but I try to slide in some obscure humor and 70’s and 80’s music reference with them just to break up the monotony of the day. As far as the “how to” stuff, it’s not going to happen. I’m no expert at fly tying or fly fishing; I’m pretty much making this shit up as I go.

At the last show I did a bunch of us got together at the pub afterward and drank the night away talking about all things related and unrelated to fly fishing. Fly tiers, guides, industry people…friends that I see only a few times a year but people I know would be there with just a phone call if I needed something. My friend D.W. and I had a conversation about the whole social media thing, its impact on certain fisheries, continuous posting of flies on the vice, blitzes in real time, grip and grins, Freudian parallels, the amount of time messaging, posting and emailing necessary to keep up with its intoxication - pretty much everything. At last call, after consideration of all that had been discussed, D.W. coined a phrase for the upcoming fishing season:”Less correspondence, more fishing.” Indeed, sir.

But I do like to write. It’s a challenge to me. Somewhere in college I thought of pursuing journalism but turned away for fear of failure. At this point in my life and a number of failures under the bow, I realize fear of failure isn’t fear it’s an excuse not to do something. I may never conquer self-conceived fears in some aspects of my life, but in this arena, in observing the people, places and events that are part of my life on the backwaters I shall press on. But with more fishing I hope. So to those that have found some entertainment in reading my ramblings to date, I leave you with some 70’s Van Morrison…

And when that fog horn whistle blows you know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows I got to hear it
I don’t have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will float into the mystic…

The coast of somewhere beautiful
11 March 2014