Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trusty Rusty

Near the conclusion of the film, Silence of the Lambs, Sir Anthony Hopkins' character Hannibal Lecter remarks that he is having an old friend for dinner. If one was otherwise unfamiliar with the picture, one wouldn't think twice about the character's statement. Having watched the film from start to finish, however, the audience understands the threat inherent in Lecter's words. Doctor Chilton, the old friend to whom Lecter alludes, is about to have a very bad day.

It occurs to me that the title of my blog is something of a double entendre, not unlike Lecter's line at the conclusion of Hopkins' performance. No, The Rusty Spinner doesn't imply cannabalism of any sort, although fly flingers may find that the title elicits thoughts of out-sized trout slurping tiny, carrion morsels from the surface of some eddy or backwater. Today's post is about more than fly fishing though. Today's post is about the meaning inherent in the title of this forum.

The Rusty Spinner is a metaphor for opportunity; specifically, The Rusty Spinner is my opportunity. I suppose this might sound sappy or overly sentimental, but this blog is a chance for me to revisit my youth; years spent fishing and writing, amongst the more Bacchanalian activities usually associated with being a young man. Sadly, I put writing aside when I took on the responsibility of being a husband nearly ten years ago. Writing has remained on the sidelines throughout my career, the purchase of a home, and the birth of my children (birth singular ... children plural). Life has been hectic as life often is, and somewhere along the road I forgot my passion for putting pen to paper.

The great irony is that I'm an English teacher. It is my job, my vocation, and my calling to help young men and women improve their writing. If I'm very lucky I might instill in a select few students my appreciation for language. I offer this simple analogy.

As fly fishing is so much more than the mechanics of casting or tying a knot, so too is writing so much more than punctuation and grammar. Like fly fishing, writing is art; the act of writing is the act of creation. Am I the the most competent caster or innovative fly tyer? No. Am I the most eloquent or fluid writer? No.

And that's why I sit at this keyboard, and pour myself into cyberspace for all to see. For that brief moment when all the words come, I am an artist. I'm a creator. I'm a teacher who can, and still chooses to teach. I'm a man with a passion for his family and fly fishing. I'm an old dog that has learned a new trick, and in doing so has begun to remember all the old tricks. I'm a writer who has rediscovered writing.

I am the rusty spinner.

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