Friday, October 28, 2016

Lost in Southern New York

The best laid plans often don't make it past step 2... So I find myself with a day to wander alone in a strange land, looking for water to fish and hopefully not get a violation from a New York State conservation officer.  (I was narrowly alerted that the water I wanted to fish is closed for spawning!)

Thank you Parkinson's Disease for the extra special gift called anxiety.  I've never been much of a solo explorer, but this is ridiculous.  Then I hear Ralph's pep talk from a couple of posts ago... Not today, Parkinson's.  Time to take a pill and find a fly shop.  Today will be good, right?

Tomorrow will be better.

Addendum, 8 hours later: I found a couple of spots to try on the East Branch of the Delaware River.  As I was gearing up gentleman who says he guides the river around those parts stopped.  He said that if the wind hadn't been blowing 15-20, there should've been a heavy hatch and lots of rising heads.

Instead, I waded out, tossed a streamer then some nymphs for a while. It was 38F, blowing, cloudy.  I waded back out when my hands hurt and my... well, some of my other pieces, were well chilled.  My casting was terrible and I could hear a few fish laughing at me.

Great day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wanna go fishing, Mike?

From CBS's The Good Wife
Yesterday, Mrs. FA was watching some episodes from the final season of The Good Wife.  I've been a fan of Juliana Margulies since E.R. back in college, and the team that picks her wardrobe for The Good Wife does amazing work.  Anyway, some of my favorite episodes featured Micheal J. Fox, undoubtedly the face of Parkinson's Disease today.  Mr. Fox's character, Louis Canning, is somewhat manipulative, using his disability by putting it on display.  I find it hilarious.  (But what's up with the sweaters, Louis?)  Some of his movement patterns looked familiar, because I've developed a few of them over the past 12 months.  I was fascinated to notice that this didn't scare me.  I instead found it comforting to see some of my exact movement patterns reflected in somebody else.

Also from CBS's The Good Wife
Mr. Canning intentionally overplayed some difficulty with his walking canes to drum up sympathy and influence the judge in a courtroom scene. One thing I don't use yet is a walking cane, but one of the louder Little Voices® came up with this line:  "That might not be very far away.  Grab thy (wading) staff and thy (fly) rod, and journey to a trout river Friday, while you can still drive and hike." Sounds like fear taking.  It also sounds like I'm overthinking things as usual.  Not today.

I'd love to go fishing with Micheal J. Fox one weekend.  It would be interesting to spend some time with a high-energy guy who's got a ten-year head start on me with young-onset Parkinson's Disease.  How did he handle his early fear and what does he fear now?  Would it be an opportunity to face my fear, in the style of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood from Frank Herbert's Dune?
    "I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
If Mr. Fox ever wanted to go fishing, I know exactly the place and exactly the guide for a great day (or half-day) of fishing from a drift boat, no hiking necessary.  But, I'm sure the accomplished actor and advocate has better ways to spend his time.  Luckily, my second choice is available, author R. E. Long of Ralph's Fly Box (though I'm sure he also has much better ways to spend his time.)  And I think he meets all of the required criteria.  We meet up in Central PA in ten days to drink some coffee & annoy some trout.  With luck, maybe we'll get a little extra dopamine for our efforts.

Meanwhile, if I can just get over this little bout of exploration anxiety, I hope to be headed to the North Shore of Lake Superior Friday morning.  I need to get out of my head for a while and let the Little Voices talks amongst themselves.

"Only I will remain."  Unless MJF calls...


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Spiders and Quicksand

(Just a parenthetical advisory/warning:  I'm deviating from my usual theme of "positive outlet" today, but I will still attempt to comply with the "No Whining" prime directive.  Today's truth is that I'm confused, not thinking very clearly, and writing for therapy.  Feel free to join me on the shrink's couch and stare at the office ceiling as I mumble to myself and engage in a town hall debate with The Little Voices®.  It's not pretty, but it's honest.)

The 2000 movie "The Replacements" is one of my favorites.  The plot is inspired  by the NFL players strike in 1987, where most NFL teams brought in replacement players to finish out the schedule.  It's a comedy, mostly cheesy, but full of great quotable moments, not all of which are necessarily comedic.  Please take a couple of minutes to view the following clip of the movie from YouTube.

I think I've been avoiding my fear.  I am afraid of the day when I can no longer visit a cold, clear trout creek, cast a fly line, and watch a small trout disturb the surface to pursue the drifting fly.  A couple of years ago, I started fishing again.  I don't go after it "like there's no tomorrow."  Perhaps its more like I probably have tomorrow and next week, but I might not have next year.  This felt good.  It's a positive approach.  "I'm going to fish whenever I can go, within reason, because my time might be limited."  It felt like a positive and constructive way of dealing with a difficult situation.  I'm beginning to wonder if it wasn't just an easy way of burying fear, procrastinating the eventual moment when I'll actually need to face it and deal with it.  I'm no psychologist, but I'd bet this is "a thing." Avoidance, mental misdirection, refusal to deal with the real issue?