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.

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