Night Fishing

I’m always measuring time by things done, tasks accomplished and goals achieved or I’m beating myself up over the lack thereof. But last night, I went fishing, and it was freedom. Sitting there in my $10 lawn chair with the same little fishing pole my grandma used to use was a glimmering instant in which time ceased to exist. It was a nice substitute for the quiet moment when I’d sit on my balcony in the evening to smoke a cigarette, the moment that I had to tell myself I’m going to have. Otherwise, I am too entangled in time’s chattel to experience that floating contentment of my spirit in some in-between realm of nothing and everything.

See how happy I am?

See how happy I am?

I am by no means some epically busy person; I work a day job and spend time with friends and family, and try to write in between. But I let my obsession with time consume me—it has so much control over me that as I was sitting there, staring up at the sky, in which I could swear I saw the milk swirls of our galaxy in that deep dark, I realized the lightness that had overcome my mind. A sigh, a relaxation. And it was because I had found that pocket in time, freedom from everything but that singular moment of just existing out there in nature. Not to sound like a hippie or anything (seeing as how there is no adequate synonym for nature), but you truly reap all the benefits from nature without needing to give anything in return, unlike the scheduled aspects of our life, where we must consistently put something in to get a return.

I won’t bore you with the details of the music the waves played on the shore, or the tinkle of the bells on the line when something bites, or the lingering scent of anchovies on your fingers and hot coffee from a thermos, or the visceral goo of the fish and wriggle of the worm as you put it on the hook, or the stars shining a hundred times brighter than they do back in town with the silhouette of the mountains even blacker than that vast space of sky—I won’t bore you with extravagant explanations of those, but they were all part of it. 🙂

My view just after sunset

Sometimes you have to let yourself get away from goal-setting and your identity as a writer and the self-worth measured in words composed and tasks completed. You need this as much as you need to write and read. Not only to be a better writer but to soothe your soul, give it a shout out to acknowledge that you know it’s still there amid all of the mad rushing of this clock/cellphone-driven existence.

Sometimes you just have to get back to the basics, even if that involves standing there somewhat ignorantly for a while as you try to recall what you had learned as a child—how to tie a hook onto your line, how to bait your hook, how to cast your line—to get back into the swing of just being, reacquainting yourself with living life rather than measuring itjust you and the universe. Not worrying about deadlines, or word counts, or chores, or how you’re going to deal with a problem tomorrow, but just getting your line out there and taking it all in—or letting it all out. However you want to look at it.

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19 Responses to Night Fishing

  1. I feel the same way about riding a bike, which I don’t do very often. I try to remember how to get on without falling, how to shift the gears, how to balance at a near stop waiting for the light to change, how to hold my arm to signal right or left, how to lift my feet off the pedals on the big downhill.

  2. Smash says:

    Wow, awesome post dude! And look at how adorable you are in your fishing getup. Nature brings out the best in people.

    • A. B. Davis says:

      Thanks, Smash! I always fear writing journal-entry feel good posts for fear that no one will read them or care. :/ You’ve proven my fear irrational. Thank you!

  3. I love this! I understand what you’re talking about– those moments when finally (FINALLY) you are just in the moment and not thinking about the next one or the one down the road. Yoga gives me those moments sometimes and other times they slip up unexpected while reading a book or, like you say, existing in and appreciating nature. You have some beautiful lines here! “I swear I saw the milk swirls of our galaxy in that deep dark.” Perhaps this blog post needs to be turned into a poem…?

    • A. B. Davis says:

      😀 You have no idea how hard your comment just made me smile. Thank you for appreciating the little touches. It’s like what you said about weaving in your anecdotes and feeling like people might not notice them as much as you’d like. Thank you for the suggestion. I might take you up on it. I need to do yoga….

      • I recommend Kundalini yoga for the meditative and relaxation benefits. It works wonders for me.

      • A. B. Davis says:

        Is that the same one you use to stay in shape? Or is there a different one for that? lol I’d really prefer to get it all in one place. Is that lazy?

      • Regarding your yoga question (which had no reply button for some reason), sometimes Kundalini is a physical workout and sometimes it’s not. There are thousands of kriyas, so it can be different every time depending on what your teacher is focusing on. But regardless of the challenge of a particular class, it always works on stretches and posture and breathing, and it makes my physical body feel good even when it doesn’t make it sore from a work out. 🙂

  4. This is such a beautiful post! I’ve never gone night fishing, although I definitely miss (day) fishing. You look absolutely happy and adorable in that photo. This just makes me feel good. ❤

  5. Pingback: I Kill the Mockingbird and Spill a Secret | Carie Juettner

  6. ElleKurz says:

    Who would have thought fishing would bring you the serenity you were looking for in the sweat lodge and at the beach that one time. Good post, Davis.

  7. Pingback: Night Fishing II, with Meditations on Jung | A. B. Davis

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  9. Maemi says:

    This post is simply lovely ❤ WOW

  10. Pingback: Night Fishing II, with Meditations on Jung |

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