Tuesday, December 3, 2013

One Bug is Quiet

We stood back and watched as she roll cast the slow, shaded run that tucked tightly under the thick rhododendrons. Cast, drift, cast again; avoiding the encroaching branches with a quiet ease. “And she’s just getting started,” he whispered with a subtle hint of pride. “She’s figuring it out.”

I hadn’t seen Brandon since our week chasing redfish on the Laguna Madre, a year-and-a-half past, but had followed his exploits through One Bug is Fake, his online journal of fly fishing, survival, and whatever. I kept up with his angst through job changes, moves, and the generally painful business of sorting out what was important in his life. Kept up, that is, until the blog fell silent earlier this year. I worried a little.

So when I caught word that he’d be in my neck of the woods for a family Thanksgiving gathering, I wandered westward and reconnected with him on a chilly Appalachian trout stream. There, I came to understand his disappearance.

“Have you been writing?” I asked, thinking I knew the answer. “Not really,” he replied, watching her swing the fly once again. “I’ve been happy.”

Those who write understand. Words, all too often, come from deep, dark places and passages born of hurt carry a weight and an edge that can resonate. It’s been suggested that contentment is the death of good writing. I’m not completely convinced, but do know that it’s easier to express when things are broken. Through the cracks seep emotion and heart and, inexplicably, craft. It’s a gruesome tradeoff.

“But I’ve been thinking on a piece for a while now,” Brandon added, as his companion concentrated on her next drift. “About what’s changed.”

I nodded, and smiled, and thought to myself that there was no need to hurry. No need at all. I’d be glad to not hear from One Bug for a while.


cofisher said...

Glad to get a good report from Brandon. He just up and disappeared.

Mike Sepelak said...

Yeah, it was great to catch up and find him in such good company. Courtney's a keeper.

Ken G said...

Funny to read that. I'm always happy, even though some would say I'm not. But I'm not content.

I write more when I'm happy and content.

"Words, all too often, come from deep, dark places and passages born of hurt carry a weight and an edge that can resonate."

I've been avoiding going to those deep, dark places. I'm painfully aware of them and not sure I want to make them more real by writing them down.

Glad I read this Mike.

MacLoosh said...

Thanks for the update Mike. Nearly as soon as I started following OBIF, he went quiet. I was worried I had jinxed him. Glad to hear that things are good.

Mike Sepelak said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Ken. I'm a pretty happy guy myself, generally. But there is a raw quality to what seeps out in tough times that even I can't deny. And those deep, dark places need to be avoided, if you can.

Very good, Mac. Very good.