Archive for June, 2007


Alaskan Leopard

June 25, 2007

was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.
-Elizabeth Bishop, The Fish

You knew there was a big fish on the edge of the white water. You knew he’d only give you one cast. You hoped you chose the right fly. You thought you might have to cross the rapids to land him. You expected a fight.

Then you laid the fly into the seam.

Nothing was surprising until you held him in your hands.


High Desert Waters

June 19, 2007

“I have come into the Desert because my soul is athirst as the Desert is athirst…”
-Charles Erskine Scott Wood, The Poet in the Desert

Sometimes she blasts out of the Sierras in roaring foam: you can watch her shape and smooth and move the rocks and boulders like a potter at the wheel. Sometimes she trickles.

Sometimes she’s perfect. Under every cataract is a pool. Under every pool is hope.

And she gives.

And she gives.

But the greatest gift is gold.

She is home to three species of trout and a family whose love for her is only a tributary of their love for each other.

High desert waters are where we quench our thirst.


Papa Gotcha

June 17, 2007

You were so brave when you climbed the rope ladder at the park, but I could hear you whispering. When I came closer, I could hear the words: “Papa gotcha, Papa gotcha…” It made me proud to know I made you brave.

I hope you remember your words forever. Repeat them when you get on the school bus for the first time. And when you leave for college.

And maybe someday I’ll get to walk you down the aisle. You don’t have to say it out loud. Just know it’s true.

Papa will always help you be brave.


Intimations of Grace

June 10, 2007

Applying the Scriptures Redux

“…he drew me out of deep waters.”
2 Samuel 22:17

Every fish is a reminder.


At the Confluence

June 8, 2007

“Where Beauty and Beauty met,
Earth’s still a-tremble there…”
-Rupert Brooke, Beauty and Beauty

I started to write about how proud I am that you were made for me. But that’s not true. You were made for greatness. I was made for you. I don’t deserve you.

Like the confluence of rivers, the two became one.

At the confluence, I’m thankful for mercy.

Happy Birthday to my Belle Etoile.


Fisher Girl

June 5, 2007

“…he watched the side of her clear-cut face as she sat on the jetty and fished.”
-Alfred Noyes, The Fisher-Girl

I am more in love today than I was yesterday when I was more in love than I was the day before.



June 2, 2007

“…this gnomon-like fin stands up and casts shadows upon the wrinkled surface…”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

The lake is still mostly covered in ice; the grayling are still mostly spawning, but they’re getting hungry. I cast my red and black magic fly onto the ice shelf, and let it fall into the water….

A more beautiful fish does not exist than a male grayling in spawning display. Men have spent lifetimes searching for what I found under the ice this morning.

His body is bronze and silver, sapphire and ruby. His tail is a fork in the road to the end of the Earth.

His dorsal is the missing page from a sacred book.