Lost Canyon, remote enough to offer the twin pleasures of solitude and daydreaming. I'm surprised to encounter a man casting a fly line in sweeping arcs along the curved sandstone walls. We nod and I ask what he's doing.
“Same as you," he replies, "fly-fishing.”
Is he deranged? Since he's carrying nothing more harmful than fly rod and tackle, I risk saying: “But, there’s no water, no fish here."
"I know that you think it's strange. There’s no use denying it. I can see it in your eyes. But Sara's approach to fishing is even stranger.”
The Sara that I know? I walked with her just last week in Moab, her black hair flowing over a flower-print dress, where all males regardless of age turned to gape.
“Sara is a wonder to look at, isn’t she?" he says, reading my thoughts. "Did you know that she writes poems in matchbooks and leaves them in bars with her post box address included in case someone wants to respond?"
“But how is that like fly-fishing?”
“Fishermen use a slender rod and colorful flies strung together by a spider’s filament. The best of them cut the barbs off their hooks, making it almost impossible to land a fish. It isn’t the fish they want—many neither keep nor eat them. It’s the perfect and immediate communication with another being.”
“Sara knows that there's no skill in communicating through her body. She’s cut off the barb of her beauty and instead offers poetry.”
“Like Sara, you cast your lines into near empty places—and, like her, you often open an empty mailbox.”
published in Haibun Today, Jan 20 2008