Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fishing, Not Catching

It’s nice to take a break sometimes. Some people call it decompression. Some people call it shifting your assemblage point. Call it what you like, it’s can do a world of good to alter the daily routine so that we can see the richness in our daily routine.

Here on unnamed island, where I wrote What Do You Do over one year ago, I am again reinvigorated by the sound of the waves, communing with the red banded sea snakes, hunting for the elusive sea turtle and avoiding the trigger fish. The mornings start early with a couple a SCUBA dives, the afternoons require sweaty patience while alternating between the sand and dips in the hot ocean water. But what I am fishing for is not necessarily found in the sea.

Sometimes I need to just sit back, relax and see what comes. Maybe it is a job opportunity, maybe it is a moment of inspiration, maybe it is a sensing of my own life blended with a sense of my own mortality. I can not predict what lie below the surface. Like a fisherman, out in his boat in the early morning hours, I put my line and wait. Perhaps the fisherman will get a nibble – a snapper, a trout, a boot – perhaps he will row ashore empty handed. Yet, like the fisherman, it is not so much that I catch something, it is the act of going out and trying. And trying, in and of itself, is a strange twist of logic.

I put my line in the water and see if something comes. While bobbing about, I try not to think about what I might catch. I try not to think about the big one I got just the other day. How will I season what I have not yet caught? It is pointless to pre-heat the oven for a meal with no ingredients. Instead, I listen and taste and smell and swallow what it is I have at the moment. And as I tap into that moment, the bob dunks under the water – or it doesn’t. Eventually, I row ashore with a more clear perspective on who I am, who is the fish, what is a boat, a rod, a hook. I row ashore and try not to congratulate myself for thinking I know what trying means. Instead, I just am. And that should be enough for now.