Monday, May 16, 2011

The Dancing Cast.


"The art of fly casting always makes me think of dancing and therefore it seems more feminine than masculine. Casting has both visual beauty and a feeling of oneness in the combination of body motion, rod action, and the weight of the flexible line. Like dancing, it can make you feel beautiful, like a perfect ten on the infamous one to ten scale" 

- Joan Wulff, Joan Wulff's Fly Fishing






He is the most beautiful man I have ever seen...

I thought...
.....but didn't say. 

Being beautiful might not be a compliment for a man. It certainly wasn't a usual one...I had never heard anyone tell a man he was beautiful before. But this man wasn't usual. And, I wanted to tell him. To tell this one, whose arms threw line, his partner, like a man swinging a woman into an aerial while the big band plays. I wanted to tell him, you're beautiful. I wanted him to ask me to dance. I wanted him to show me the steps. I wanted to throw my line, my partner into the air. I am sure he was getting bored by now, my line, with all this rolling about. I envisioned him in a tail-coat. I have always had this thing for men in tails. I would even curtsy at the end, all proper-like in my flannel shirt --- if he asked me to dance. 

I watched, as a wild wallflower.

Observing.

His left hand pulled....up.....down....up....down --- in time with his right arm's back, forward.....back.....forward. A perfect 4/4. Like a metronome. I started tapping my foot. I stepped behind him, onto an old abandoned road. I looked into him as a mirror, and saw myself. A metronome clicked in my head, beaten into me from so many thousands of hours alone in its presence. Its pendulum controlling my rod, I felt the beat. I went in time with The Beautiful Man's motions. I danced... 

                                                                    ...through silence, he had asked me to dance with him.

The Beautiful Man's back-cast caught him a glimpse of me and he stopped short...surprised. "You just taught yourself how to double haul.....do you know that?" No...and suddenly I felt beautiful too, like a perfect ten on the infamous scale. No. I did not know......

.....I just thought I was dancing. 

28 comments:

  1. You must show me this "dance" on my next visit. Looking forward to a ballet on the shore among friends.

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  2. Erin you make everything sound so romantic.

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  3. Must be from a childhood of Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre......and Winnie the Pooh:-)

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  4. Absolutely beautiful, Erin. A lovely, lovely post.

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  5. Cofisher - until the past 6 months, it has not been...before that, my imagination served me well. :)

    sgb - I'm certain it is Alcott, Austen, and Brontë's fault!

    Mike - thank you so much...your words mean a lot!

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  6. beautifully written. i'll be smiling about this next time i raise my rod.

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  7. Very, very nice. Thanks for this.

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  8. Wow...thank you so much! I'm glad you all found it a good read...

    Sanders - your comment made ME smile! :)

    Jim - Thank you so much for your good words, and you're welcome!

    Stephanie - Thank you...!

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  9. I've been reading some old posts and I love your writing. To anyone who says fishing is fishing I'll show some of your writings because you show how it can be more then a sport to some people.

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  10. Bruce - many, many thanks for reading and also for the comment. I am glad you're enjoying reading back to some older stuff to boot -- that means a heck of a lot to me! It is really a way of life, isn't it? Funny thing is, I am now realizing that "fly fishing" has always been my way of life, I am just now getting around to the fly fishing part. ;)

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  11. When I read this I thought of that old video of Joan dressed in a formal evening dress and casting a fly rod. Talk about elegance and grace.

    Very nice post. Well done.

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  12. Being that I spawned the "beautiful man" , this brought me to tears..... and in a public place.
    Men in tails. Yes. My mother used to say it was something about the high cut at the back.
    This piece is so beautiful, Erin, it takes my breath away.
    No,they haven't called EMS yet.

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  13. Ty - Ah, I really want to see that video...will have to search around. YouTube has everything, right? ;)

    d.nash - Many thanks!

    Hart - I am very thankful for your "spawn"...

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  14. If you weren't a fly fisherperson, this post would be just plain creepy. It made me look to the artistic side of it though. Do non-fly fisherpeople look at it the same way?

    P.S. Beautiful is an ok comment for a man and his art form. Not ok for his fashion.

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  15. backcountryfishnerd - I'm not sure about non-fly fisherpeople...now you've got me wondering the same thing. I haven't been called "creepy" but have been called "crazy." ;)

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  16. Breaking stereotypes in art, flyfishing,society. My father was not a flyfisher. He was the most beautiful man I've known. Thanks for reminding me.

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  17. There's a short bit of footage of Joan dressed to the nines and casting in her "Dynamics of Fly Casting" instructional video. I've seen some other short video of this but can't remember where. Maybe posted on a message board somewhere. Probably not too hard to find.

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  18. Herringbone - It sounds like your father was an amazing man, and I am honored that my writing reminded you...

    Ty - I will hunt around!

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  19. I hope this beautiful man realizes how fortunate he is. Wonderful!!!!

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  20. Absolutely beautiful, Erin. Absolutely beautiful.

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  21. Thanks for coming to read, Andi!

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  22. I wish it hadn't taken so long to find your blog but I am glad I did. I really enjoyed this and look forward to reading more.

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  23. Quill Gordon - I'm glad you found me too! I have really been enjoying your blog...great stuff all around! Happy to have you here, and I hope you continue to enjoy my ramblings!

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  24. Wow...I had not thought of it all that way. I love to dance, I dance every weekend, at least every Saturday. And God forbid something get in my way of doing so or I end up one grumpy red head.

    The double haul eludes me but I think the metronome reference just made it click for me. I played instruments as a kid, I dance, I have rhythm, I should be able to do it. I will try next time I'm out, with the click...click...click...click in my head.

    Thank you Erin, another beautiful read!

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  25. Red, if you dance and played music as a kid, it'll be a piece of cake. Just get into the groove of it...think of casting in terms of "beats"....it really helped me!

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