The Art of Fishing

To fish is no mean feat. To sit after the rain by an unstocked pond, with a worm dangling at the end of a bamboo rod, while there are fence holes waiting to be dug, seeds to be sown, beds to be weeded, calls for extraordinary powers within me.

I think about what I could be doing that is more productive. Estimate how much a fish would cost. Calculate my profit if instead I used that additional income to buy fish.

I think about how to improve upon this ancient and outdated technique. But there’s nothing to innovate, make more efficient, or scale up. No chance to strain and sweat. Do I even have control over anything? What’s aplenty is uncertainty.

Can I be fully at rest? To enjoy the moment merely for itself. Yet still my mind spins, but get no traction.

The art of fishing asks for one to be quiet, be still, and wait to receive, if any at all. To forsake all the modern technological options to increase one’s yield. To forget opportunity costs. Not the stuff they taught me in business school.

In fishing, gifts come unconditionally, without vexing and striving. It speaks of a world different from – despised by – the one I grew up in. Free lunches exist.

It calls for a submission to fate, to accept what is, or is not. The real catch is only snagged when one stops, and just be.

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