Read Mark’s weekly reflections on The Huffington Post.
Fishing is a great way to relate to the unknown. It’s compelling and surprising that we always return to places where we’ve caught something to wait, when there’s no reason to think that anything will ever break surface in the same place twice. But we wait and try to sense what is under the surface.
The Purpose of Fishing
It’s hard to say. We gather the rod and
bait and clean the line, the way we get
degrees. Then cast our line the way we
cast ambition. Then we wait. Until we
think it’s all for nothing. If lucky, we out-
wait the glare of failure. Now it seems just
being here, rocking in the stillness, is the
catch. Once we stop waiting, we can hear
our heart beat like a small drum between
the gusts of wind. And then, and only then,
some big, shiny, armless thing might break
surface. But the lightweight rod is sleeping
out of reach. So we grab for what moves in
the deep with our hands. All of this, to get
us wet in a baptism no one can name.
A Question to Walk With: Discuss with a friend what you think the metaphor of fishing is opening up here and what it might be saying about how we find meaning in our days.