Monday, August 07, 2006

Once More to the Lake

We went fishing the first morning. I felt the same damp moss covering the worms in the bait can, and saw the dragonfly alight on the tip of my rod as it hovered a few inches from the surface of the water. It was the arrival of this fly that convinced me beyond any doubt that everything was as it always had been, that the years were a mirage and there had been no years. The small waves were the same, chucking the rowboat under the chin as we fished at anchor, and the boat was the same boat, the same color green and the ribs broken in the same places, and under the floorboards the same fresh-water leavings and debris--the dead hellgrammite, the wisps of moss, the rusty discarded fishhook, the dried blood from yesterday's catch. We stared silently at the tips of our rods, at the dragonflies that came and wells. I lowered the tip of mine into the water, tentatively, pensively dislodging the fly, which darted two feet away, poised, darted two feet back, and came to rest again a little farther up the rod. There had been no years between the ducking of this dragonfly and the other one--the one that was part of memory. I looked at the boy, who was silently watching his fly, and it was my hands that held his rod, my eyes watching. I felt dizzy and didn't know which rod I was at the end of....

"Once More to the Lake," by E.B. White

(posted by Portia)


camojack said...

E. B. White...wrote "Charlotte's Web", right?

Cassandra said...

Very nice.

portia said...

Yes he did, Camo. He also wrote "Stuart Little," which I must say provided great fodder for a little girl's imagination at bedtime readings including thinking it would be great fun to sail around in my little sailboat on Central Park lake to wondering--sometimes at night when the light's were out--whether there was I chance I might give birth to a mouse:)

The full essay (6 paragraphs or so) is included in the link, and worth reading.

He wrote mostly of simple things but his essays allowed even the ordinary to come alive, and a lone sentence could fill a page, if not a daydream: It was enough, that spring, to remember what a girl's hand felt like, suddenly ungloved in winter.

camojack said...

" would be great fun to sail around in my little sailboat on Central Park lake"

It's even funner (?) to sail a real sailboat to The Bahamas.
(My boat is the "Olivia II"...)

portia said...

Damn, Camo, you sure know how to live right!

camojack said...

I do try, darlin'.

One must live whilst one is alive, non?