Friday, May 12, 1995

Reading the waters of my life

In his book "A River Runs Through It", Norman Maclean writes eloquently about his own life and the process of examining it. “The fisherman even has a phrase to describe what he does when he studies the patterns of a river. He says he is ‘reading the water,’ and perhaps to tell his stories he has to do much the same thing. Then one of his biggest problems is to guess where and at what time of day life lies ready to be taken as a joke. And to guess whether it is going to be a little or a big joke. For all of us, though, it is much easier to read the waters of tragedy.”

Reading the waters of my own life, it would be very easy to get lost in the interweaving path of the river and its multitude of tributaries. Seen from afar, one might be tempted to get lost in the tragedies that befall the river. I have therefore decided to recount to you the events of just one small bend in the course of my river. And hoping that you have chosen to read these stories at a time of day when life allows itself to be taken as a joke, I’ve decided to write about a time when even the tragedies were life affirming.