Hey There

Well, hey there. Long time no speak.

Been too busy to turn around and blink lately. Not that this is a bad thing. Well, sometimes it is, I guess.

Since last we spoke I took a week off. Shoot, when was that? Week of the 15th that’s when. Been a while.

It was, as always, a marvelous week off. Napped a lot. Nothing beats vacation napping. You can do it anytime the urge strikes, and you don’t have to worry about messing up your sleeping schedule because you’re off work anyway. I love vacation naps like few other things. You just have to readjust your schedule the last couple of days.

Did some renovation work in the never-ending rehab of the old house. Stuff like that.

Did make it to the hills once. October is a great time to go to the hills, possibly the best. The creek was low, but not terribly so. Fishing was a bit slower than when we had been there three weeks earlier, but even though my fishing pal and I only caught a spotted bass each, the little pumpkinseed perch were abundant and we brought many to hand.

The creek was just starting to carry fallen autumn leaves, not enough to really interfere with the fishing, but just the right bit to add some beautiful golds, reds and tans to the scenery. I love it up there…but then, you know that, don’t you?

Probably was the highlight of the week, but then, a submersion into wildness always is.

Started working on pre-press for a new book that I’ll have out before Christmas. It’s a logical progression of my first two memoirs, and will in fact create something of a trilogy, if you will.

See, in Native Waters I rambled mournfully about the loss of family and a way of life, about old times and disused paradigms. Yet I preached that with eight thousand years of roots in this old earth and these wonderful old waters I am its native sound and bound to them permanently.

Then, in The Great Sadness, there is a different feeling, a sense of loss that has grown palatable. Thus the title. Many indigenous people on this continent refer to that moment in 1492 when everything began to change as “the great sadness.” The duality of that phrase struck me. The book was originally titled The Way of Memory to make poignant that vanishing which continues to this day, but The Great Sadness seemed even more spot-on.

What struck me, as I reviewed both books prior to republication last spring, was how naturally the story flowed from one book to the next, and finally into the third, which at the time was nearly finished. A summation might be: Native son grows to manhood surrounded by strong cultural ties and bonds to the landscape; environment diminishes, grows emasculated and thin, a shadow of its former self, and finally, the sudden realization that perhaps in the absence of a lifelong home, there might be something out there to replace it.

So that third book became For Want of a River: A Quest for Wild Places and took on a life of its own. Here the circle comes back upon itself, as all circles must: A search for some place to find solace within; a place where a man can again be nurtured by wildness.

Now all that may sound like a shameless plug (hey, take it how you want!) but it was something of an epiphany to me. When I look back on where I was a decade ago, and how my viewpoint and paradigm has shifted so drastically, I scarcely recognize that person I used to be. Though green-black water, lotus blooms old cypress standing knee-deep in lake water once represented all things treasured to me, the slow dying of the basin and the lake has left me exhausted and searching.

Now in the deepest caverns of my sleep I don’t dream of swamp and lake and bayou any longer; they have been replaced by wild, laughing water, slump-shouldered peaks and deep, dark woods.

I don’t know how many memoirs I’ll have under my belt before I leave this world, but I’ll keep writing them. Daniel Wallace once noted that a man tells his stories so many times, he becomes his stories. They live on after him, and in this way he becomes immortal.

I don’t know if I’ve become my stories, or my stories have become me. But I’ll tell you this much:

I plan to live forever.

2 comments to Hey There

  • blufloyd

    Sweet I plan on living forever or buying into reincarnation and coming back as aluminum.

    I guess no T week in Loozy this year unless you need company to eat up leftovers.

    It is getting freaky cold here. At least I ain’t liking 30-50 deg with no sun.

    Fly fishing been going good though in spite of all.

  • Roger Stouff

    Aluminum would definitely be forever. 🙂

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