Over a conversation enduring one and a half hours, I recently spoke in no little depth to a student of mine who goes fishing. He's dyslexic and suffered a brain trauma as a child, and the solitary oneness with the river is his escape, from himself and others.

He told me how he prepares boilies. An elaborate process by which a sweetener is cooked up that his fish love. Fish like chicken. They are not his fish, but belong to the Provincial Council, who, for a small sum, sell him the annual permit by which he goes and fishes the fish out of their water. For a brief moment, they are his fish. They are his responsibility, they are in his care. He holds their lives in his hands.

He told me about waders, lures and the French verb "ferrer". He could tell me the length of line he uses and the length of his rod, which is in four sections, so long it is. He told me how the weather affects the fish, temperature, rain and the currents, the time of day. He doesn't haul the fish in; they haul him in. Into their world. I asked him, innocently, "How do carp taste?" He answered, "I don't know. I always release them back to the wild. Sometimes you can see where the hooks have pierced their mouths, several times. Some cannot breathe properly, they've been hooked so many times, but I always release them back into the wild. For another chance. Another day, another meeting. In fact," he continued, "out of deepest respect, I don't eat fish at all."

I think I came a step closer to understanding fish. And those who understand fish.

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Jul 11, 2023Liked by Richard Partridge

πŸ‘πŸ» thank you!

i will not analyze or dissect the sense & feelings that rose through the words

That is not necessary.

But I will simply and truthfully say thank you. I love that it poked piece of my inner world to consider elsewhere.


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Hmm. I couldn't say with 100 % certainty, but yonder goldfish lady MIGHT HAVE DiD to a certain extent. That was 3 personalities ?

I'm just an armchair dabbler who took a few psych. courses in college. Is Goldfish Lady based on a real person ?

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