Skip to main content

Casting My Line Into Another

These waters are no good.
I've been fishing all day
And all I've caught
Is a shred of argyle,
A belt buckle,
A tangle of hair,
And a shoe lace.

I'm paddling out farther
To deeper waters.
I'm casting again
In another direction,
And while waiting for a tug,
I'll tell you the history
Of all my bad luck.

I was born an angler.
We all are, you know.
But my training was lacking,
For I was taught to fish in a puddle of sludge
With teachers who, more often than naught,
Hooked bits of me instead of tadpoles or guppies.

When I grew of age, I packed my tackle, line and rod,
And told my mentors what I thought of their "fishing."
Then I hiked to a river to find companions,
Who knew how to catch fish instead of me.

The river was crowded with anglers,
Full of tips, advice, and criticisms.
"Not there. Here."
"Not that. This."
"Not over. Under."
At first I obeyed
Until I succeeded to fish like they did
Catching the flies of fishers on the opposite bank,
Who, in turn, were ensnaring their hooks in our lines as well.

So I cut my losses and moved downstream
Where I'd heard the campers ate trout every night.
At the edge of a lake, I pitched my tent on the beach
Beside an old man who was grilling four fish over his fire.

"How did you catch those?" I asked that first night.
He smiled and pointed. "I cast my line in the waters."
"Of course, but how?"
"In the waters!" he repeated. "In the sea!"

Of course! I thought.
Why fish in lakes beside hobbyists and amateurs,
When I could fish the ocean with sea captains?

So I went to the sea, bought this dory and cast out.
And here I've been anchored off shore for a week
Without much luck—aside from that rubbish pile there.

I see you've tangled your line.
Ha! I used to do that too.
Give it here.
I'll untangle the knot.
Stop wiggling.
Look out! Ouch!
You've hooked my hat.
How dare you!
You're just like the rest.
Fine. Have it then.
I'm used to such abuse.
But I'll not keep your company.
I'm raising my anchor
And rowing deeper
Because I'm compelled to cast
My hooks into something.

Now outa my way.
And get your socks off my hook!


Popular posts from this blog

Baptism Testimony

I didn't used to want to be baptized. I was too stubborn. I was determined to be the upright, genuine Christian who wasn't baptized—something of a superior class, I suppose. All that physical symbolism was for the archaic layman or the really emotional sort or the person who's afraid baptism is necessary for salvation. It's not for me. It's not for the steady, reliable believer who's doesn't have a big conversion story. I was in preschool when I prayed the prayer. In 6th grade, I gained a deeper understanding of sin while bickering with my siblings in the backseat of the family van. When I was 16, I began a daily quiet time with the Lord. And now at 36, I'm hearing the Lord asking me to make my faith work. Make the rubber meet the road. Get out of "morbid introspection and into deeds," out of "anxious hesitation and into the storm of events" (Rohr & Ebert, 129-130). Stop retreating into my head to figure out God and salvation

Why the Enneagram Numbers Quarantine

Type 1: The Reformer     I quarantine because it's the right thing to do and everyone ought to be doing their part for society by following the same procedures. Type 2: The Helper     No, I'm not concerned about myself, but I quarantine for everyone else. I want to help my neighbors feel safe, and I would absolutely die if I found out I had passed on the virus to someone else. Type 3: The Performer    I quarantine because that's what's expected of me, right? Plus, think about how bad it would look if I didn't. Type 4: The Individualist     I would've loved to quarantine before all this started but now that everyone is doing it, I'm not so sure I want to follow along. I guess I'll quarantine but somehow find a way to still remain exceptional. Type 5: The Observer     I might quarantine. I might not. I probably will while researching the facts about this virus. When I know enough, I'll make a final decision. Type 6: The Guardian     I q

Wanting the Ends Without the Means

I want my children to learn to get along, But I don't want to hear them fight. I want them to feel their emotions and understand them, But I don't want them to slam doors or be sassy. I want them to be respectful to adults, But I don't want to be embarrassed when they say something totally inappropriate. I want them to choose to obey me, But I don't want to come up with consequences when they don't. I want them to fill their own time with play, But I don't want to clean up the mess when they put stickers on the walls or throw tomatoes over the neighbor's fence or carve into the walls or cut through the upholstery with scissors. I want them to be good. But I don't want to suffer through their becoming good. I want a rich and seasoned relationship with my husband, But I don't want to endure seasons of dryness or coldness or disinterestedness. I want to have friends who are different than me, But I don't want to hear their threatening opinions. I wa