My mom is on the phone telling me how my brother always wanted to fish the first day, but up in the area I grew up in, the water was usually frozen over, and covered in a deep layer of snow. Down here, the first day arrives and it is pouring when we wake, after an hour or so the rain has stopped, so we put on our hip waders and smart-wool, and go, what I do not account for is the howling wind and soon the fat lake effect snow flakes that catch on my line.
This outfit is more attractive to me than just about anything else a man can wear.
The next morning we pack the car up and head north, and fish in a small Adirondack stream, before heading to a warmer location. And then the next day spend several fruitless hours fishing the Schroon River with a cold piercing wind, my line either tangles or snags again and again and again and I am frustrated beyond words. We move to a smaller feeder stream and he puts me in a sheltered location where I cast the line out and it immediately snags. At that moment I quit, utterly. I take the dog and we sit on the sandy bank in the sun, while the pirate fishes. I feel no guilt or shame at quitting, the damn trout aren’t biting anyway.
The thing I like best about this place, other than the friends that have become family, is the peacefulness and solitude of walking here. I never encounter anyone, and never have the fear of encountering anyone who will ruin my walk.
Later W. and I explore the waterfall that for my own reasons I have named dragon teeth falls. She is like a forest fairy, climbing up and down banks, saying hi from somewhere over my head and blending in to the beige and brown of the melting forest like she is a part of it. She is.
I feel, though, like a stupid and lumbering rhinoceros, I don’t know why but I am in a very low spot, energy wise, and maybe psychologically. I am working through a lot of stuff, and frankly much of my life has improved significantly in the past few weeks, and maybe months, but there is still some things to work out, and sometimes I feel like I am standing on a stone in the middle of the river, I know I will be taking another step, but right now I cannot see the stone that will be the place for my footing. I keep telling myself that this resting period is part of the process, because it just feels dull and lacks life, and I find myself seeking more natural sources of healing. Fixing my nutrition, massage therapy, removing chemicals, returning to yoga.
But then there are times the universe seems against me, the one time I go to Clark, viola, bitch. The one time I go to yoga, viola, esoteric yoga freak teacher, who is a strutting peacock. You aren’t doing yoga until you breath like this and then he does this weird thing with his stomach. Okay I guess I am just here to find peace and serenity, you don’t have to call it yoga. I feel snarky, and when they all make odd faces and hiss in lion pose, I find that I cannot help but snicker, later I feel guilty for my judgment. Maybe I just won’t go at all anymore, rather than face this, this ugly feeling that this guy is an idiot, or worse that I am still in the shallows, waiting for the fish to bite, while I tangle my line. Still on the high road, not even knowing that below is a waterfall, still walking the same path, not realizing the woods are scattered with others.
In the long night, I realize that long ago I stopped collecting treasures for my little box, and I need to once again begin to fill it. I think the first thing I should start with might be this: