I’ve been reading John Gierach for years and have been re-reading some of his essays from gifted books that are compilations of essays from his previous works. Today I was re-reading his essay “Even Brook Trout Get the Blues” from the book by the same name. It struck me that I interpret his work differently than I did many years ago.
When I first started reading Mr. Gierach’s work I found it quite humorous and self-deprecating. While it is that, indeed, I find the humor to be less silly and more insightful from the perspective of my advancing years – I think I like it even more.
The following is an example I found humorous for it’s “punch line” but now I find much more meaning. See what you think. He is talking about his friend killing a nice brook trout he caught that he would have normally released if had appeared to be in better condition.
“We could have felt bad about this, but we didn’t. It was just mortality, pure and simple, and I think that’s one of the reasons why we like to wander around in the mountains with expensive fly rods: to get a taste of things the way they really are, minus the usual crap. You’ll hear people say that birth is a miracle and death is a tragedy, but a sportsman eventually comes to see that anything that happens every day is just plain ordinary. Life is just life, and even brook trout get the blues. The trick is not to get too bent out of shape about it.”
For me, this put things back into the proper perspective that was being skewed by “the usual crap”, like spending too much time on social media and not spending enough time outdoors.