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Author Topic: Guilt  (Read 4314 times)
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« on: May 14, 2013, 02:14:08 PM »

Guilt n,  an awareness of having done wrong or committed a crime, accompanied by feelings of shame and regret

By Jeff Mishler

Certain feelings I cannot amputate from my existence. The desire to hunt, fish and immerse myself in all processes associated with the preparation phase of each is omnipresent.  The manifestation of these desires is always a simple wandering daydream effectively shutting down my cerebral power station when I should be editing my next DVD project, or spending time with my wife and kids.  Going to the river with a fly rod or shooting shit with my bow or shotgun briefly satiates the desire: Very briefly.  I need a full bore immersion lasting a week or so to really feed the monster before I can shift focus back to fiscally productive tasks and familial happiness.  After three days of domestic isolation; editing video in the attic, changing diapers, cooking, doing dishes or mowing the lawn, my skin is crawling like an addict. I need that fix to live.  

But as a writer and photographer, a different smack-down hammers me when I get to the river or field and I must squelch other desires boiling in me as strong as the original craving to be on the water.  I cannot tell the full story.  When I was a child this paradox didn’t exist in the culture of outdoor literature.  Authors understood that special places where special.  A story could be told about catching big salmon in Alaska or on some obscure northwest coast river without giving it all away.  A story about fishing would always go something like,  "The big salmon kicked my ass until I prevailed.  Here’s a drawing of the lure I used.  Don’t you wish you were me?" Today, the magazines want maps, dates, times, tide charts, bed and breakfast services, tackle shop locations and all web addresses associated with the travel effort included in the final draft submission.   And we wonder why there are 32 drift boat trailers at the 1st Bridge boat launch seven days a week from early January through March.  

So where is the guilt?  It's found in the paradox that the very reason I justify my need to be on the water doesn’t appear to be a legitimate one.  The river is the primary source of inspiration for my work and I must eat the banana if I want to feel better but I cannot compose the shot I want of the twenty five pound spring Chinook with the small green fly in the corner of its mouth because the low, wide angle shot would give away “where” I caught this amazing specimen.   The pool is not a secret place.  Selfishly,  I don’t want more pressure there. If I submit the picture, enough anglers will recognize the tree line or details on the horizon and pinpoint the exact position of the camera.  Within a week three boats will race me to the place I once had to myself, or shared with few.  Nor can I honestly relate in my work what happened while I was there if I hope to preserve the opportunity for more of the same.  So, while I’m there, casting a shooting head into a 5-knot head wind when I know I’m needed elsewhere, I am wondering, why am I here in the first place? Is this effort futile? Is it justified?  I should be home shouldn’t I?  No I shouldn’t, because this is what I do.  I fish.  I fish for ideas.  I fish for a cleansing.  I fish for escape.  Escape from what, my family?  Escape from work?  Life?  No!  I can’t help the fact, one fact I can share, that what I do is fun and fulfilling, and sometimes pays the bills.  But what about that pile of yard debris behind the garage?  Duck! Here comes the Clouser!

« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 03:58:24 PM by camosled » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 06:04:52 PM »

The fabled outdoor writers of days gone by, denied the benefits of modern technology, did it the old fashion way. In committing their experiences, thoughts & dreams to pen & ink, allowing the reader to fill in the blanks as best they were able. Perhaps also allowing a wee bit of artistic license in the disclosure of the exact time & place. They were masters of their craft. Armed with little more than the spoken word and a few rough sketches their works, reverberate in the far corners of our memories long after the medium in which they worked is lost to the ravages of time.   

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