Monday, June 27, 2011

Seven Is a Natural

                                           MY DOCTORS
                   Therein the patient must minister to himself
                                                        Macbeth  V.iii

    I have fully seven of them, a consortium of Boulder physicians, minding me in my old age. Seven excellent men dedicated to the care and repair of my human body. The most respected of men along with the clergy, the postman, and the man from Prudential-- and, dare I add, teachers-- even if, in the end, they can no longer deliver the goods. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Midsummer 2011

   A few moments ago at 11:16 AM, MDT, Spring closed down and Summer  opened up. MIDSUMMER Now the action of the days and nights will be ripening and the movement:  toward Harvest,  as the  days get shorter and shorter, darker and darker. It will now be allowable, I am happy to say, to think of the coming of Christmas. It's an important day: Midsummer.
   Sixty-three years ago, at about this exact hour, we were on the first day of our honeymoon, having left Denver for points north to Yellowstone for the fishing. Well past Cheyenne in our 1937 Chevrolet coupe, we began to hear that  worst  of all sounds in all the world: a bearing had burned out in our engine, and the piston rod was trying to hammer its way out of the engine  block. We limped into tiny Glendo and there spent three of the most remarkable days our lives. (Read all about it in Notes from an Old Fly Book.)
   My point is: if you must  venture forth on Midsummer, be cautious. There are strange forces  at work.
   I call to mind J.M. Barrie's highly popular West End and Broadway circa 1900 play DEAR  BRUTUS. In it a fashionable assortment of dreadfully messed-up, unhappy people respond to an invitation to  spend a long week-end at a grand country estate, south of London in  Surrey, the home of  the strange and eccentric  Mr. Lobb. Of course it is Midsummer (Why else would I bring it up? And, of course, Shakespeare haunts this play too.)
   Old Lobb warns his guests that they should not venture out into his Woods that night, that it is extremely dangerous.
   And so, of course, that is exactly what they all do. They go out there and encounter forces that  enable them to go back and relive and redirect their lives away from all the destructive frailties  that ruin our lives. The guests are highly  excited and go about changing themselves. 
   When they come out of the Woods at dawn, they find that they have made the same terrible choices, taken the same wrong  turnings, and  are  still as utterly miserable as they were before this Midsummer night. Old Lobb is full of glee. 
    So, I say, Beware!

                Cassius:  The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
                                   but in ourselves that we are underlings.
                                                         Julius Caesar
Betty and I took our chances this morning and drove out into  the country and had  breakfast  at a country crossroad. We took our chances as we begin our 64th. year of risking it. We have the protective spell of Glendo still working for us.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Writing About It

   It troubles me.  I retired from my life as a teacher and stage director in 1991, fully expecting to be close to the end of Everything. And here I am, twenty years later, at this keyboard, writing-- about angling and, as I have threatened, about everything else. I have delighted in the discovery that most anything can be thinly disguised and stuck into talk of fishing. All sorts of ideas can peak through the remarkably expansive and elastic language of angling.