Personal observations of one writer. Frequent references to pop culture, blues music and lifetime truths.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
How's this for irony. I'm writing a piece on my development as a fly fisher. It's taken me about 15 years to go up the learning curve in this very precise sport. Sometimes I think that the finesse involved in placing a micro mini piece of feather and thread on a tiny hook in exactly the right place in a fast moving body of water is the exact opposite of any skill I could ever master. No so. I've made progress. So here I am writing this piece about how I realize that whenever I'm particularly patient, good things happen. Some of the most memorable experiences (and fish too) have resulted from letting go of the impatience that often smothers me. Cut to the finish line: I end up deleting my draft in a rush of impatience that saw me empty my digital trash after mistakenly putting in the file I was working on. First time for everything. But then what's the message?
Rewrite. I did. All 3000 words. Starting from memory, I made an outline, but it only took a couple of paragraphs before I realized that the second draft would be quite different. Not saying which one was better. Just different. Much of the same content, but the structure of the telling changed. New material leaked out of my head and onto the page. It'll be all right in the end, but I can't help thinking that there is more to this experience than I now realize.
The remainder of last week was just as strange. A number of unexpected circumstances reared up. Case in point. I had a simple form to file with the public employees system. In rounding up some of the documentation, I found out that I needed to get more documentation to obtain the original request. Just so happened the only available appointment open was on the morning I's booked a cabin by my favorite river. OK reschedule for another week later on. Downward spiral. All further whining ends here. These things are annoying but hardly comparable to anything that matters. On second thought, an unwanted "delete" now and then helps to put larger issues into perspective in a hurry.
Retired from full-time teaching, moved to Portland, Or in July of '06 to write a memoir of late 1960s, fly-fish on weekdays and find a writing group. Book done, nice rainbow caught and released on a Tuesday, member of The Guttery, a successful Portland writing group.
Currently supervising and mentoring beginning teachers, reading, writing like never before, and living in the moment.