Waiting to Matter


There is an old story about a happy fisherman. He wakes up before dawn every day, excited to head out to his boat on the river in his own back yard and spend the day fishing. In this way, his life is filled with joy, and plenty to eat, feed his family, even his friends from time to time. The timeless sameness of his life is filled with serenity and time enough for love. One day an industrious man buys a fish from this simple fisherman. He explains how easy it would be for the man to catch more fish as a business. The fisherman asks why? To make more money, buy a bigger boat, hire a crew to do the work, and so on. The joys of the imaginary business are lost on the fisherman, who already has what he desires.

Encountering these attitudes is rare these days, as the centuries of successful businessmen have sold their dream to so many otherwise happy humans that the simple joys of life now cost lots of money, and money is much less fun to catch than fish, as a general rule. And I have been lucky, industrious, and honest in business. So I do not need to despair in the arts of catching money. There is enough for my daily joys, enough to feed myself and my family, and even my friends from time to time.

So where’s the catch?

The problem is, in a happy life there are joys and sorrows. There are challenges and lessons. There are opportunities and desires. These lurk, like the prize fish of the fishermen, in certain places known only to me, in stories which cannot be told by anyone else. So I must take the time to travel each day on the river in my own back yard, with my net and pole. My stories are waiting for me to see them and say them.