Monday, November 7, 2011

Something, Something, Something

Something, something, something.
Something, something.
Something, something, SOMETHING!

It ain’t working.

A good friend and gifted writer once told me that when the ideas or the words won’t come, just sit down and "start typing something.” Perhaps I’ve taken her too literally, but I have to do, well, something. It's been another full week without writing anything new.

I thought that I’d have an engaging new fishing report after spending the past couple of days on a Tennessee tailwater - I’d been itching to fish it for months - but we arrived to find much of the race closed to allow the annual fish orgy, the spawn, to proceed unmolested by interloping mankind. Fine. We gritted our teeth and reluctantly moved downstream, knowing it was for the best.

The available water was dreadfully low and the few fish that were not carousing upstream were spookier than last week’s trick-or-treaters. I guess that if I’d not been invited to the year's hottest piscatorial party I’d be a bit on the contrary side as well. Okay. Embrace the challenge.

But after several frustrating hours of "embracing the challenge" - I was spared skunkitude by a single, small gullible brown and a #20 zebra midge - we called it a day and began to set up camp on an accommodating farmer’s streamside patch. The sky opened up. It rained in buckets. Terrific.

After a half-hour of frenetic, sloppy car unloadin’ and tent pitchin’, safe and secure - though not particularly dry - within our flimsy polyester fortress, we called to confirm the next day’s generation schedule. It had changed. They’d now be sending water downstream from 6:00am until noon. Forget fishing until 1:00pm. Sunset, 5:30ish. Buggers.

We checked the forecast too. It had also changed. Rain all night. And cold. I don’t mind wet. I don’t mind chilly. Together, they suck. To suffer them in tandem, not to mention sitting on our thumbs the next morning, watching the raging effluence, all for just a couple hours of poor afternoon fishing, wasn't going to happen. Thirty minutes after pitching the tent, it came back down and was stuffed hastily back into the trunk. We turned towards home. Wet. Frustrated.


So, in the absence of a riveting fishing report with oodles of envy-inducing images of enormous trout, I sit here trying to find something to write about. Something. Anything. And it ain’t working.

Something, something, something.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.


Note: The image above is a page from Wendell Berry's fine little book of poetry, Leavings. This particular passage includes the lines "I don't think of myself as an old man. I think of myself as a young man with unforeseen debilities."

I can totally relate.


e.m.b. said...

Nothing. And yet, something. (To which presently I very much relate! How is it that when we have heads full of things to write about, we have not the time, and when we have the time...well...)

Sanders said...

It's amazing that when you are determined to write "something", it's the hardest time to write. I know the feeling well...

although, I still really enjoyed this "something"


Chris said...

Something is better than nothing Mike. Which is exactly what I say to myself when I catch a tree every time I go fishing!

Fontinalis Rising said...

It'll come back Mike, don't worry. I found this post very entertaining, and sometimes it's when everything goes wrong that we get the best stories. I hope your next trip goes better, though.

Ken G said...

Been going through the same thing for about a month now. Was telling my friend Bob Long, Jr. that I'm doing all right with single paragraphs, it's stringing more than two together that's a problem lately.

And yet, I put a few things out there and people tell me they liked it.

Really? Quit lying to me.

I like that old man line, very fitting.

cofisher said...

Well Mike, we know you used to write and we're pretty sure you will again. Keep posting some of the old stuff until it comes back. We're a patient bunch.