Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fishing for Spring

photo of blue Spring sky with leaf buds
© harrington
Hi! Thanks for visiting. For those of you who, like me, may have forgotten what fair weather looks like, the photo is a picture of blue sky. Feel free to let me know if you need a high quality version suitable for framing, hanging on the wall and making sacrifices to, so that it may someday return to Minnesota. Yesterday I noticed that the willows are turning more golden, the local poplars are starting to loosen their buds winter tightness and develop the beginning of leaves. That's good because yesterday was the opening of Minnesota's stream trout season, which is also supposed to be a sign of Spring. You do realize, don't you, that, if this were March, we'd be right on schedule, except for the trout fishing? Enough of this weather talk. Another highlight of this weekend were the Minnesota Book awards. The poetry winner was Patricia Kirkpatrick for “Odessa” which, based on reviews, explores the existence of self after brain surgery to remove cancer. Congratulations to each of the winners. For an alternative perspective on self, let's see what can be found in John Voelker's/Robert Traver's Testament of a Fisherman. Under his pen name, Voelker wrote this in the mid-1960's. (He's also the author of Anatomy of a Murder.) He was from Michigan, and I can find no direct linkage between him and My Minnesota except that many of my fellow Minnesotans fly fish and I'm met quite a few who share the sentiments expressed in the following (prose) poetry. In honor of Spring's stream trout opener in Minnesota:
Testament of a Fisherman
"I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful,
and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly; because of all the
television commercials, cocktail parties and assorted social posturing I thus escape; because, in a world
where most men spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of
delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or
impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience; because I suspect
that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don’t want to waste the trip; because
mercifully there are no telephones on fishing waters; because only in the woods can I find solitude without
loneliness; because bourbon out of an old tin cup tastes better out there; because maybe someday I will
catch a mermaid; and, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I
suspect that so many other concerns of men are equally unimportant -- and not nearly so much fun"
Robert Traver/John Voelker
Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily.