THE BLOG
01/29/2013 03:11 pm ET Updated Mar 31, 2013

The Purpose of Fishing

Fishing is a great way to relate to the unknown. It's compelling and surprising that we always return to places where we've caught something to wait, when there's no reason to think that anything will ever break surface in the same place twice. But we wait and try to sense what is under the surface.

The Purpose of Fishing

It's hard to say. We gather the rod and

bait and clean the line, the way we get

degrees. Then cast our line the way we

cast ambition. Then we wait. Until we

think it's all for nothing. If lucky, we out-

wait the glare of failure. Now it seems just

being here, rocking in the stillness, is the

catch. Once we stop waiting, we can hear

our heart beat like a small drum between

the gusts of wind. And then, and only then,

some big, shiny, armless thing might break

surface. But the lightweight rod is sleeping

out of reach. So we grab for what moves in

the deep with our hands. All of this, to get

us wet in a baptism no one can name.

A Question to Walk With: Discuss with a friend what you think the metaphor of fishing is opening up here and what it might be saying about how we find meaning in our days.

For more Poetry for the Soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.

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