Fishing for Words

   I am not a good fisherman.  I would far prefer to sit on the bank reading a book about other people’s catches than stand patient in the icy cold water casting out again and again, getting frustrated by lines that fall heavily on the surface rather than sailing out in perfect arcs to land lightly in the still pool where the biggest lunkers lie.  My fly gets caught up in bushes behind me as I try to cast forward and I spend an hour untangling the line from the willows of memory, rather than simply cutting it off and tying on another fly.  I stumble on the slippery rocks of questions I don’t have the answers to and find my waders filling up with the water of confusion, weighing me down.  Or my fly drifts away and gets tangled in the snag that washed up on the bank in last year’s flood of life experience.

Don’t get me wrong–I get plenty of nibbles.  Fish do rise to the surface and bite my fly.  But I have such trouble setting the hook.  I catch a glimpse of the silvery flash of scales–the rainbow colors of insight, but then they wiggle off the hook and slither away downstream, my line lying slack on the water’s surface.  I am tempted to give up this silly sport.  It is such a cliche anyway–a Montanan angling for fish and words.  And yet…

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