Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Learning to read...

...again.

I don't remember the first time. It was too early in life; I, too young. Precociously, I scolded my bedtime storybook reader (whichever lucky parent that was) "no, that is not how it goes!". Because, I knew. I had the book memorized. And, as a toddler, I could read over my parent's shoulder.  You are skipping words! I would have none of that.

Now, I'm learning to read again. And now, I don't always know how the story goes, or how it will end. I am still looking over someone's shoulder; though, I don't ask so many questions anymore. Instead, having two ears, two eyes, and only one mouth --  I listen...I watch.....

I read the fisherman, reading the water.....



I learn.

And I begin to understand why it can take years, decades even, to get to know a body of water. As a lifelong lover, learning all her curves, blemishes, wrinkles, and that one freckle on her back. Waxing and waning. By the seasons growing larger, then smaller; storing, and using up. Like a sow, bearing her hibernation. At first a little scarce. But after runoff, after she's been fed and filled, she'll grow. Your heart and your hunger will too. And you'll like it. Finally, she's healthy. She's grown into her skin, found her course......this is her spring.

I read the water.....

The next day, I go out alone to read -- to be read. And that is why we go to her. That is what water does, she echoes us ourselves through her eyeglasses, the prescription lessening as we fishermen age (yet her eyes, they always water with sorrow, and with joy....this, why she is never truly clear). For then, intimately do we know her...and, she us. An old man and an old woman. Old Friends. We stop asking so many questions. Standing silently, we let her speak....eddying...


...through the weather, surfacing storms that were there all along, brewing below. She whispers wait...patience...in answer to my whys. And I sip percolating thoughts in silence. They are a bitter blend, coarsely ground, and too dark sometimes even for myself. Then, the whisper comes again... 

.....wait
...look
.....is that a rise?

I read the water's yes.....  

.....yes, love.....it is.

27 comments:

  1. Probably one of the best written descriptions of fishing and life...for they are as one.

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  2. Bill Trussell said
    Great post, especially the reading waters

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  3. The day i stop learning will be the day i hang my rods up for it will be the day i cannot appreciate what is in front of me.

    Lovely stuff.

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  4. Great piece of writing there , I really enjoyed it.

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  5. Many thanks for the comments to you all!

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  6. Cofisher - Wow. Thank you! They are one and the same...indeed.

    d.nash - ;)

    bill - very glad you enjoyed...and the waters tell us so much, eh?

    Tom - I agree...

    Martin - I don't know that I've ever been "thanked" for writing...your comment means a lot!

    sgb - yes!

    HighPlainsGlyFisher - I am so glad you enjoyed it!

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  7. From what you've extended to me through your words....I can so see you calling your parents on skipping words! I used to put myself asleep reading to the kids! Well done.

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  8. Steve - thank you!

    Herringbone - haha...I hope you got more sleep than my dad did! And thanks! :)

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  9. Stunning as always! Keep up the fantastic work!

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  10. You voice your connection with the water well. Well enough for me to think you aren't learning much, just listening a bit differently. I enjoyed this one a lot!

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  11. Mark - many thanks, and I'll give it my best go!

    backcountryfishnerd - I'm not sure what's happening, but I love it....thanks!

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  12. This gave me goose bumps and I so love all the comments that you get. I think it is because you articulate so well much that we all can relate too. Your words jell then solidify what had been wandering thoughts and vague or strong feelings.

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  13. Nice write up in so many ways....thanks!

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  14. I don't know how this one slipped between the cracks for me...beautifully written as always. Really really nice!

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  15. Most of us are anglers who write. It's apparent you're a writer who fishes. I'll be back for more!

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  16. Thanks to you all...and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    John -- happy to hear you'll be back!

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  17. Goes without saying, awesome. Really awesome post. Wow

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  18. Beautiful, Erin. Water is life and we must all learn to "read the waters" in order to be true to ourselves.

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  19. I don't know when this transition happened for me. Sometime between age 24, living at the beach and ready to GO GO GO....get on the water any time, all the time, and now, age 37, trying to make educated decisions about where fish or fowl will be...and when. It's a process for sure, and one of the "new tools" I've developed is to know when to say, "I'm not coming back to this spot for 6 months, the birds/fish are done here." That was not in my "lexicon" 13 years ago.

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  20. Swamp Thing - it's the most interesting of all educations...

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  21. A real pleasure to read (again)! Please don’t stop writing!

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  22. Lonesome Piker - Many thanks, and I will not stop! I hope you're continuing to enjoy your fishing holiday and am looking forward to another update!

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