It is the tear that forms. It is the secret smile of hours lost. It is the end, or, it is the beginning. It is the purest joy. It is pain. It is relief.
It is the clarity, or it is ignorance. It is nothing, and yet, it knows.
It is the vivid sunset. The new dawn. It is the question never asked, the question never answered.
It is a cry for help. It is the solemn pledge.
It is focus, confrontation. It is flight.
It hides us... then gives us away.
Always silence is eloquent, relating more than any verbiage or contrived set of carefully manufactured phrases, asking far more than what it gives.
Silence is a riddle, a puppet, an actor. Silence pleads for understanding, or turns its back.
Silence is the cement. Or the axe.
Silence is the consummate artist, painting different pictures in every mind.
It is the storm on the horizon. The rage. The submission.
Silence is the universal language no one understands.
A man is known by the silence he keeps.
Daylight insinuates itself in degrees. Tiny definable increments to me, although I know better. There are at least a hundred billion shades of gray, and they flow one into another seamlessly, as if to comfort us with the thick warm blanket of a sort of rhythmic continuum, as do the days.
An empty promise? Fulfillment? Or something else. The days don't just begin. Time is a seasoned sentinel, marking the passage surreptitiously, methodically. I don't understand and therefore will not question the premise. How can one question that which one understands so little? But, all of a sudden it's daytime. Again. Technically, isn't it some sort of daytime all the time? I ruminate on this subject way too long, watching the endless, timeless, grayness of another early spring sky reflecting off of, but not imitated by, the slow moving water at the creek.
The terns wheel above surveilling as the white pelicans cruise the surface. They all patrol the slow moving currents. A disgruntled cormorant dodges the twisting dive of an interloping osprey, crashing its daily business of survival long enough to pilfer a meal for two nestlings, while downstream the otters always find time to make life interesting for the dogged muskrats. Suddenly, up on hind legs, they freeze, there, on a muddy point dividing the cattails, long enough to paint my portrait until I shift my attention, pick up and cast again. When I look back for them, they are gone, but I hear them sprinting through the dead backbrush in an endless game of chase, rousting shorebirds and small rodents as they chatter and romp. A large red-tailed hawk teaches the finer points of the hover to a youngster, waiting, watching for those who panic and break cover. High against the ridge line to the south a small pack of coyotes provide background vocals for the terse ribald call of a brilliantly colored red-winged blackbird who still searches for a mate.
Two giant ravens perch nearby, watching it all. They speak to each other quietly. There is a wiseness, and genuine dignity in their ways with each other. I've always thought that if anything were to survive what it is we as men do to this planet, it will be the raven.
My #14 callibaetis parachute floats high in a barely discernible eddy some fifty feet across the creek. I count it down. 3 - 2 - 1. It spins, right on cue, halfway around, pulled by my bellying leader out into the main current. I retrieve quickly, the fly skimming the surface, and cast again to the eddy behind the great submerged granite stone that breaks the flow, pinching the line to my rod as I gauge the fly to be just past the target. My fly snaps back, creating slack in the leader, and drops softly, barely disturbing the surface of the quiet water just downstream of the rock. More slack means more time. More time for the big rainbow at the bottom of the eddy who is feeding casually on the surface to decide whether or not this is the real deal.
My fly beckons, and I see the big fish come to attention, but a younger, more aggressive trout who is obviously not well versed in the proper protocol has entered the scene. He attempts to take up station directly in front of the big buck, and the bigger fish will not have any of that. He immediately darts forward, and the offending youngster is forced to vacate his position. But, as he does, he spots my #14 callibaetis parachute floating high in the top end of the eddy, and makes it his, sprinting to the surface to gobble it before fleeing. Hm. There might just be a lesson in this somewhere, but that's not what crosses my mind as I steer the smaller, younger trout away from the eddy behind the great granite stone. I slide the hook out of his jaw and wonder about irony. All kinds of it, because when I stand and look back across the creek to the eddy behind the great granite stone, I realize the big fish is gone.
Ebbs. And flows. Ups. Downs. The in-betweens. Damn the in-betweens.
I remember a day a lot of years ago. I was flying a kite. I was attempting to fly a kite. The field I ran across was spacious, and that was a good thing, for there just wasn't enough wind to keep my kite aloft without me running to keep it there. So I ran. And as long as I ran, it stayed up. And although I enjoyed seeing that kite get high in the sky, well, soon enough it got to be too much trying to keep it there. Never mind that wisdom which simply states there will be other days... and besides, when there's not enough wind, it doesn't matter how long the field is.
I see more now. I understand more. I don't know if or how much of all this wisdom I seem to be collecting is really going to do me, or anybody else, for that matter, any good. I'll just keep on accumulating and storing this stuff anyway. I guess that's what I'm supposed to do. I guess we all do that, more or less.
I'm prone to not calling people back, and I still put my head down a lot. I'll stare out the window and wonder why even though I already know. And I still get teary-eyed at stuff most people don't even think about. The words of songs I lived on and through still mean more to me than anything else I will ever hear. There was always a lot more between the lines than in them, not like the way it is now. That's what I do know. And there's what I call the 'sweet stuff' and then there's the rest, and I don't much care about the rest, and that's probably not a real solid way to live a life, because (I'm told) thinking that way won't make you wealthy and it sure as hell won't help you live forever but the older and wiser I get (or think I get), the less inclined I am to want, or believe that.
But I am, and will die, a very wealthy man. Go figure.
Or, just go away.