Waters & words

Close your eyes

I have an old friend who, when he is sitting comfortably in our lounge, and a truly classic piece of music comes on the stereo, closes his eyes as he listens.

I think he sways a little too.

He certainly zones out.

He escapes the confines of our simple human surroundings, switches off the world around him, and allows his mind to soar to lofty and beautiful places in which the depth of his appreciation knows no bounds. He transcends those in the room who nod in his direction and snigger, and he rises to a place above us all.

I may have sniggered along with the others at one time. I don’t know. But I no longer do.

I too now know that lofty place.  I think we all need such a place, given that to go there is all we can do in this broken and often painful world.

That place is one in which the things you choose to immerse your consciousness in, take over from all else. It is a place where the love your soul has for images, and words, and music, and beauty holds sway.  It is a place that defies description, and which is unique to you alone. It is a place that acknowledges and  reveres your fondest memories, and houses your own aesthetic blueprint.

My such place encompasses mountains, landscapes, weather, trout (and the waters they live in), set against a watermark of stories, and songs; all in the context of very personal memories.

I am taken to that lofty place by images. Not just any images mind you, but collections of images played out in the context of personal connections, complete with birdsong, and the sounds of a rushing mountain stream.

jnl 1-1-7

Those images, and everything that goes along with them, are I suppose well represented by what I post on this journal.

Here is a fairly random and possibly representative sample of those:  Image Library.

I identify with John Gierach when he says “The modern depictions of fly fishing in print and video are accurate as far as they go, but they usually  run heavy on gratuitous fish catching and light on the long silences that characterize the sport”.  I don’t suppose it is a coincidence that McGuane writes about “The longest silence”

My silences on the water, while they are just that:  Silences;  can be represented by favourite music.

Playlist:

And while their names don’t fit the topic quite as poetically, take a listen to these ones too.

And beautiful stories are the echoes of my own stories:

Reading list….books in which, when I got to the end I felt I had “ just finished sucking the last precious drop off the last page of a beautiful book.” (to quote Robin Douglas)

My list of such books:  It is difficult to single out just a few books of all those I heave read, but here is my attempt to do that:

  • On the spine of time: Middleton
  • The River Why: Duncan
  • Chalkstream Chronicle: Patterson
  • Hunting Trout: Sutcliffe
  • The Habit of Rivers:Leeson
  • Where the Trout are as long as your leg: Gierach  (I know, they are all brilliant)

You are a flyfisher. You are reading this blog. I think you will get it. No one else will. Close your eyes. They will snigger.

To hell with them.

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2 responses

  1. We need to talk music sometime. We share a lot of similar tastes

    There is a noticeable absence of blues though. I need to make you a disc.

    Blues, you see, is very basic in its harmonic structure. It all becomes about feeling and nuance – the spaces between the notes and the effort on the part of the musician. I know that Gierach played some blues guitar. It is a counterpoint to your and his thoughts expressed in this piece.

    Good job as always Mr Fowler.

    Like

    October 9, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    • Thanks Andrew. Choosing just a few songs cut out a lot of genres, but I am indeed light on the blues. Would be very interested to see a playlist!

      Liked by 1 person

      October 10, 2016 at 1:33 pm

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