Friday, April 10, 2020

A Real Singularity


There is a quote we've all heard about not being able to step into the same river twice. The river isn't the same, and neither is the angler. No other river encompasses this more for me than the Savage. Usually I am there with my brother. Sometimes with friends. Once with my wife. Once, alone. Each pilgrimage has found me at an inflection point or a singularity in my life. While my last visit had me contemplating impending fatherhood, this most recent visit had me daydreaming of what it would be like to bring my son here someday.

This time, as well, the aforementioned truism inverted upon itself as we found the world to have changed each time we returned to shore. Lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, quarantines, ominous newscasts and their portents of an impending horrific sloughing-off. A societal inflection point. A real singularity.

None of that existed between the banks of this little river. The most anxious thought that could occur within the dome over water bounded by the tailwater fog was whether or not this beautiful brown would break you off in the deep pockets. Nothing from the world outside of the river manifested upon anything that was done along or within it, or on anything that came from it. Emerging from the sanctuary to get food or make contact only made us want to retreat into it again. 

As the inexorable end to the trip loomed nearer, my thoughts turned to parting ways with my brother. We'd probably be going our separate ways for a while, and the uncertainties of the immediate future and the precariousness of life seemed all of a sudden more visceral. Were we living in the good old days without fully realizing it?

This river makes me want to pare down my kit, to make the interface with its ecosystem as uninterrupted by conscious calculations as possible. To be able to focus on what provides satisfaction. A few of the several flies that I know work, some tippet, a net, hemostats, a beer tucked into my waders and my brother working upstream on the far bank opposite me. Keep it simple. Here, and elsewhere. And enjoy every minute of it.




















































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