Saturday, November 24, 2007

If Hemingway can do it, why can't I?

Once, long ago, I wanted to be a writer. Now all I want to do is write.

***

Thoughts like fish that I catch and release. The faint trace of their escape in the water lasting only as long as my raised heartbeat, a splash rippling the silence that no one else hears.

Many years from now, perhaps, someone else will catch this fish, someone more skilled, more sincere, a true fisherman, who will know what to do. (It won't really be the same fish by then - it'll be older, plumper - but never mind). He will gut it, clean it, do all that is necessary, and hang it among the other trophies above his mantelpiece, memories with gills, a bookshelf of ideas no longer in swim. It is his right; he is entitled to his kill. It takes nothing from his merit that I got there first.

Sometimes it troubles me to think that no one will ever know this, no one will remember my catch, because a fish set free does not count.

Sometimes I look at other people's fish - the dead eyes, the gasping mouth - and think they look familiar.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

....but everyone who knows you is already aware what a great 'fisherman' you are! :)

Vi said...

There's plenty more fish in the sea. Won't you try your hand to catch them anyway?

km said...

First one to mention Luca Brazzi gets whacked....never mind.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps seeing a glimpse of the fish in another's hand, before it slips back into the water, drives one more to go looking for some for oneself, for who knows I might catch this one too?

But seeing it neatly gutted and stuffed, up on another's mantel, might not work as well to prod me, for where is the elusiveness anymore? It's already been done to death.

Personally, I liked the way this particular fish was caught and released. It'll keep me gazing at the shimmering waters for a while, trying to catch another glimpse of the sunlight winking off it's scales.

~N.