Two years away from the U.S. and here I go again, this time on a plane from Frankfurt to Seattle. It’s one of those big planes, identified by large numbers and a letter or two, but I never go for those details. Some people obsess over them, as if they could fly the plane in an emergency, but only if it’s a Boeing-737 and not a Boeing 777X. The best part of this flight is there are only 30 people onboard, which gives me three empty seats and enough room to spread out books, a notebook, and eventually myself. These flights are long, but 11 hours with three empty seats and one drink is almost agreeable.
The essay you are hopefully about to read is part of my forthcoming 2022 collection and exhibition with the Montana artist Tabby Ivy. Both the collection and the exhibition will be called Between Artists: Life in Paintings and Prose. The exhibition will take place June next year at the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana. I hope you all, and I do mean all of you, can be there. The piece that follows describes a morning last summer, when, after seeing one of Tabby’s paintings, I bicycled to a local river where I fished for sea trout and salmon. The story is not, however, of my most recent fishing trip, which I returned from late last night—five days spent in the very Far North with four seasoned Norwegian fishermen. Maybe that story will come around someday too.
July 8, 2021
T.S. Eliot wrote in The Waste Land, “April is the cruelest month,” and in the poem, “Home-Thoughts, from Abroad,” Robert Browning penned, “Oh, to be in England/Now that April’s there.” I don’t know that I find April crueler than any other month, but I do have thoughts about returning to England. The daffodils are blooming. The grass is green. I like going for walks in the north of that country, and I feel at home while fishing there. Be that as it may, the regulations of present day Oceania have passed from the brazen into the absurd. As such, the idea of attending a masked Evensong at York Minster is the very image of dystopia come home.