Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Need

I miss the emotions I felt as a kid. I watch old home videos of Christmas mornings when I was growing up and almost feel sad for the loss of the ability to exude pure thrill. I can't figure out why I have such a hard time showing people my genuine appreciation for things that they do... showing and telling them how much I love and adore them. There never seems to be words to say how you feel and really get across that deep emotion. Maybe we are so afraid of looking foolish or being rejected that we hold back. We hold back our thoughts, feelings and inner reactions to events in our lives because we are afraid of how other people will see us. Children don't have those fears; they let the world see everything.

Recently I found a path back to those childhood emotions that eluded me. The genuine show of feeling that you need to express or you will explode. Something so intense that there is no time for your brain to stop and ask for approval of the display that is to come.

It's amazing.... Amazing how much a fish can change your emotions. The frustration, anger, pain, madness, embarrassment, rage, joy, elation, happiness, hope, excitement, camaraderie, euphoria, satisfaction and pride that you feel, all because of one little fish.

If you fish, I mean REALLY fish, you know what I mean. How you can be out in the fresh cool water of a river on a chilly fall day and just look in awe at your surroundings. How your heart jumps when you see the first fish of the day dart from under your feet to the dark eaves at the edge of the water. The indescribable joy and excitement that comes from landing that trout you've been after all day. The anger and frustration you feel when everybody seems to be catching those once-in-a-lifetime fish but you. How you can be ready to break your rod in half and go home when a tiny six inch Brown jumps on your fly and teases you into staying six more hours.

That rush of childhood emotion... that's what it is. It's what keeps us all coming back for more. It's our drug, our addiction. We need it.


Rachel said...

Geez. Clearly I need to re-try fishing. My fishing experiences have consisted of the following:

-A long ride in a weird-smelling vehicle.
-Half-melted Baby Ruth candy bars.
-Getting scratched up and whacked in the face by willow branches.
-Watching my Dad sacrificially mutilate worms as bait.
-Witnessing the slow suffocation of a flopping, slimy creature with unblinking eyes.
-Another long ride in an even weirder-smelling vehicle.
-Lots of guts and gore and further stink in the kitchen sink.

I feel like perhaps we've been participating in different sports.

heidi said...

I was grabbed by: "We hold back our thoughts, feelings and inner reactions to events in our lives because we are afraid of how other people will see us. Children don't have those fears; they let the world see everything."

So true! My students are transparent. It's beautiful. And, funny that we hide our authentic selves and experiences out of wanting others to like us, when, if we can just be vulnerable, people will melt!

I have witnessed this. People are surprised that I'm so myself and say what I really feel but, then, sometimes, they do kinda melt a little. It's kind of a rollercoastery way to live, though. I never know if people will "get" that I'm genuine or think I'm not observing boundaries/invading. People are smart, though. If they're at all secure in themselves they usually see right "through" me.

I... felt a gap between the first and second halves of this piece. I think kids express vulnerability despite their efforts to be in charge of themselves. I think fisherpersons are more in charge of the fishing situation, usually. The upsets/excitements are more within their control? I GET what you were reaching for... How does fishing trick you into showing other people your vulnerability, I wonder?

It's tough. I've spent 12 minutes thinking hard and I can't come up with anything. I do remember, you wrote, or Rach did, that last summer Tessa was SO excited to fish. Maybe the narrator could access their own ridiculously enthusiastic-to-fish side by... gosh, this is hard! Witnessing this in a 6 year old?

Adults are afraid to make demands. Tessa urgently requested fishing from whoever it was right when they got back to camp.
She was like "Can we go fishing? Now? Now? Now?"

Maybe the narrator sees this and thinks, yeah, I'm six still,
"Spend time with me, husband/ parent (of me your grown child)/whoever, now, I still need you to give me lots of love and attention and spoiling!"

EH. This is hard!

I did like where this started so much. (The last half I liked, too, they just didn't seem to slide together.)

Hope that pointing out the gap was okay?

I still love the football/fish story. You've definitely got a knack for a satisfying payoff. (Actually, multiple payoffs!)

If you're done with this, no prob. If you revise, I'd love to see a post of it! I'm not hoping you'll use my idea or anything. I don't know fishing that well so I grabbed at what I could.

heidi said...

DANG! Couldn't delete my comment. I should have used my Google account ID.

BlogMama, can you delete my comments? Or would you have to re-post the whole thing and get it out of order?

You're doing great, kid. I'm so impressed.