Friday, September 5, 2014

The Fisherman


      If from me, when all is done, there are any words left over, 
      let them be these:

   Hurrying down Boulder Canyon early one sullen spring morning, just rounding a bend, I saw him, down in the creek, a fisherman working his flies in silhouette over the silvered water. I saw him only for an instant, a spectral image in black, cut into the creek beyond him. He looked out of another time and place, but I knew him, remembered him.
    I wanted to give him a Boulder name, that of some old habituĂ© of Boulder Creek. He might have been E.B. Edwards, Charlie Sundquist, or Nick Schons. Maybe he was One-Armed Billie Marquette, Bill Smith, Al Olson, or Lasses Ralston. In any case, this was the original, the model, the archetype that can flash on consciousness and remind us of sources, beginnings, and raise floods of sensation and memory.
   By naming him, I thought I might perhaps anchor myself more securely into the legend of this landscape, my native watershed, the water out of which my mother made me.
   Forms and images like this, I know, are as old as time and have this powerful way of taking on a local habitation and a name. But, at this instant, no single name seemed right. The image remained, simply, The Fisherman.
   That instant of vision on the creek, sent shivers through me that were slow to subside. Seeing a ghost, I thought, must be like this.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Little Boy Lost



    There is so much out there to make us feel bad, such a variety of things, so much that we cannot change, and one thing that never changes is the penchant for us old folks to disparage and despair of the young. About whom we are usually and historically wrong. To our dismay, these kids simply will not be like us, even when they are fond of us. They insist on going their own way, while we go on in our own, for them, wrong ways. And history always seems to come out on their side, as It came out on yours and mine.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

John Donne, Dean of St. Paul's