Monday, May 2, 2011

A River Runs Through It

"In our family there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.  We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others.  He told us about Christ’s disciples being fisherman and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry fly fisherman ...
 
In the afternoon we would walk with him while he unwound between services.  He almost always chose a path along the Big Blackfoot, which we considered our family river.  And it was there he felt his soul restored, and his imagination stirred.

[The Reverend says to his boys] 'Long ago rain fell on mud and it became rock. But even before that, beneath the rocks are God’s words.  They came first. Listen.'

And if Paul and I listened very carefully, all our lives, we might hear those words.
 
As a Scot and Presbyterian my father believed that man by nature was a damned mess and had fallen from the original state of grace, and that only by picking up God’s rhythms were we able to regain power and beauty.  Unlike many Presbyterians, he often used the word 'beautiful.'

My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe.  To him, all good things, trout as well as eternal salvation, came by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy..."

--from the film A River Runs Through It.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A River Runs Through It

“I remember the last sermon I ever heard my father give, not long before his own death: 'Each one of us here today will, at one time in our lives, look upon a loved one in need and ask the same question: We are willing Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true that we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give, or more often than not, that part we have to give... is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us... But we can still love them... We can love—completely—even without complete understanding...'

“Now, nearly all those I loved and did not understand in my youth are dead, even Jessie. But I still reach out to them... When I am alone in the half-light of the canyon, all existence seems to fade away to a being with my soul and memories of the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River, and a four-count rhythm, and the hopes that a fish will rise.

“Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the earth’s great flood and runs over the rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words. And some of the words are theirs ..."

--from the film A River Runs Through It.