All I ever caught was water. The fish weren't friendly. My companions, spread out in their camo and gear, looked severe. Over here, I hollered, but no one came. Tomorrow I tried again, with an outdoor chair made from recycled pastic. (Wikka, it was called.) I might have fallen asleep because I woke up, took me a minute to pick up my end of the line. I'm wearing boots about it.
Monday, April 15, 2013
All caps. The sign has to be all caps. So I was told. I had no idea, but then no one ever recommended such a sign before. I take all recommendations seriously, so last night I did some research and sure enough I saw caps everywhere: above fish, beside fish, beneath fish, beneath poles, beside bobbers, attached to taut lines, you name it. There were exceptions of course. Before ignoring them, I stared at each little i. That's right, not a hook in sight. Or so I thought at the time.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Last October, in a first-year class, we read a poem. I told the story of reading an earlier poem, about 30 years earlier, which had included the word volcano. This was in the tropics. That weekend, a volcano broke through the Rabaul peninsula. Another poem had said earthquake, which happened too. Now, I told a student last October, you've gone and mentioned the hardest math ever, a.k.a. calculus, and April will act like winter. See? Although sworn to champion all lines of enquiry, we'll say no more of hard stuff. (That student, who went into Actuarial Science, a.k.a. performance-enhanced accounting, was last seen walking the snowy alley south of Vic.)
Monday, April 1, 2013
Simply put, there will be no explanation. That's right. Sometimes it's smart to just nod and smile and nod some more. Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting anything disingenuous. Smile only when it moves you, of course. Let it come naturally. Keep in mind, it's incredibly difficult to smile when doing the hard math, so wipe all numbers and inequalities off the blackboard. Instead picture a cat sleeping upside-down in the sun. Nod in admiration of the joy it finds in that otherwise unused corner. Yes, nod and a smile will come.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I explain myself. Often this takes two or three attempts and even then I must rely on the willing nods of strangers. I observe furthermore that our brains have no choice (barring disease or other trauma) but to order things. And that no reader approaching a page can resist what two words do to each other. Best to de-sense. Not de-sensitize but overlook what the brain wants to do. This takes two or three attempts. Even then, given tree you'll stand in shade, given alley you'll walk down. This is all part of the morning so far, leading to afternoon.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Warnings everywhere south of here. Well south. The other side of the province, so to speak. I wouldn't say it's the downside, though there is a downside to all that openness. Roads closed, travel not advised, the whole bit. Here it's sunny as can be. A wee breeze, but nothing that would freeze your ears off. Here the snow stays put. I could go on about the differences between here and there, as I've done many times, sometimes whining, sometimes bragging, drawing nods of understanding and all that, but really I could do the same about any here and any there, even the here that is my desk and the there of the sun room just a short walk away, and the nods would still come. There is a downside to those nods. An upside, too. Then an absence. That's the trouble. It's kind of like the roads down there on a day like this. Zero visibility. You can't see, can't stop, know damn well you shouldn't be out there, but there you are.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
It was all we could do with just the one Eagles cassette between us. It was the other side of the world, right about now. We get paid for doing this, we kept saying. I flopped onto my back daily in some stream. I must say, I kept an eye out for watersnakes. For two and a half years, this went on. That tape kept us going. Sure, we rode fence.