Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Don't force it

photo of beardtongue in bloom
© harrington
Hi. Thanks for visiting. Just a few short weeks ago, this beardtongue was blooming all over the property. Now, there's hardly any to be seen. We're starting to see transitional season fog. Have you ever tried to make a plant produce fruit before it's time? Have you ever tried to expedite healing an injury your body has sustained? How well did either effort work? The next time you're faced with such a temptation, may I suggest you take a moment to read Testament of a Fisherman by John Voelker, writing as Robert Traver. Here's a copy.
"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" 
An alternative version of the philosophy is captured, it seems to me, in Pete Seeger's wonderful Turn, Turn, Turn. One of the reasons I do my best to keep publishing My Minnesota (with occasional recent interruptions) is that I hope the effort may help someday make me as wise as John/Robert and Pete. I hope you read it for the same reason. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily. Come again when you can.