Dr. Alfred Jones: I wonder if I was genetically programmed to dull ‘pedestrian‘ life.
Harriet Chetwode-Talbot: You are very lucky to have a dull pedestrian life
Another word for commonplace, dull, routine and something that lacks excitement, a pedestrian life is what most people are scared of, maybe because of the fear of falling into a rut and losing their identity or themselves in the bigger picture, whatever it may be. But I agree with Miss Chetwode-Talbot (yes, I am channelizing Ewan 🙂 and his charming Scottish lilt when he calls the vision of bringing salmon fishing to the Yemen…..a doolally enterprise ) that we are indeed lucky to have a pedestrian life, a routine life, as predictable as salmon leaping upstream.
Cos you see, its this routine that acts as a constant variable and provides us with the necessary patience and faith so that we can experiment with and experience several independent variables. These constants can be anything from a pay check, to bills, packing lunches, work timings, even taking your meds or anyone from your friends, spouse, kids………the patience, the persistence and the faith that these seemingly dull constants teach one can be likened to fishing, I guess, not that I would know anything about it 🙂
“How many hours do you fish before you catch something? Is that a good use of your time for a facts and figures man? But you persist, in the wind and the rain and the cold. With such poor odds of success, why? Because you are a man of faith and, in the end, you are are rewarded for your faith and constancy with a fish.”
The only other thing I can even think of equating fishing to is meditating. While attempting to meditate, one has to often sit quietly (or at least try to) and try to empty or quiet their mind. In this fast paced world, who wants to quiet their mind? Who has the time to quiet their mind?
And the moment we close our eyes, all thoughts, some from “long long ago, so long ago, no one knows how long ago,” come rushing in and it takes several minutes, sometimes hours or even days of effort before we can quiet our mind. But we still believe, we still persist, and we are consistent despite all the aches and pains, stresses the daily life begins, amidst all the loud and distracting outer and inner noise. Why do we do it? Because we have faith and in the end, be it 20 minutes or 20 hours or 20 days , we are actually rewarded with the ability to switch off our stresses at will and be aware, at a conscious level. Aware of what and what is the actual reward, you ask. Being aware of your thoughts, your pains,your dreams and your ever fluctuating moods. For instance, if you are aware that when you become angry, you lose complete control of your thoughts and words, then being aware of this might help you direct that excess energy into something you like to do rather than spewing out something that will hurt others.
Faith is not necessarily associated to any religion, or practise even. It is just a belief, that despite all the science, the theories that makes me a cynic and prevents me from taking the first step (small or big, depending on the perspective). Faith might be your practice or culture of never refusing water to the thirsty or sharing a small piece of chocolate with everyone else (for a kid it is a big thing). It might even be your belief in the fellow human being that enables you to make good friends, friends for life, no matter how many times you have been betrayed by someone else. It helps you forgive your known past, take risks to try out something new in the unknown future, all the while enabling you to live your present. Faith is that which enables you keep swimming despite all the pain that you undergo daily.
Faith enables you to hope, to love and to trust your instincts. And now faith has put this idea in me to try fishing, pretend to, that is ….sitting (or standing) blissfully, staring into space, with water around you, with a beer in hand, what’s not to like.
In the words of Sheikh Muhammed and Dr. Alfred Jones,
Here’s to faith and fish and science ~ Salmon Fishing in the Yemen