The other night, I had a dream that I was fishing. Every time I cast my line, I would immediately feel a tug on the end of the line and I would reel in a beautiful rainbow trout. Over and over. I would cast my line and see the attached fly rest on the water a second before a trout would take a bite. I would pull the fish in, remove it from the hook and cast my line again. It didn't take long for me to have a bucket full of rainbow trout. I then had to clean my bucket of fish and this is where things started to go bad. I didn't have a clue as to how to clean trout. I knew that I had to remove internal organs but every time I cut into one, I just made a mess of everything. By the time I made it through my bucket, my trout were barely fit for cooking and if they were cooked, they would be served with a beware of bones kind of warning.
My first thought, when I woke up the next morning, was of Dad. I thought of the hours we would spend at the banks of a pond or river, casting out our lines and how we would spend our evenings at the camper making up fly lines for the next day. We had good fishing days, though never as good as my dream. We also had bad fishing days. One year we didn't catch hardly anything and left Colorado feeling like we'd just wasted money on a fishing license. That was the worst fishing trip I can remember and Chris's first trout fishing trip with my family. He finally managed to catch a fish at the end of our trip but it was in a catch and release only area. Mostly though, the fishing was good.
At the end of our day, we'd take our catch back to the campsite and Dad would clean the fish. I watched Dad do this one time. The last time we went on our fishing trip, Dad talked me through cleaning a trout. He wielded the knife as he explained the process of gutting and gently scraping the scales off the sides, but he never actually let me clean one of the fish. I have never held a fish down and cut it open and pulled out it's guts. That walk through lesson was so many years ago that I'm not sure I would even know where to start. Which explains the part of the dream where I butchered all of the fish. Some how though, I don't think that dream was all about Dad and the regrets of not ever learning how to clean trout.
The other day Michael stepped out of the shower and said "hey! I think I could turn your blog into a book. If you'd let me." I prickled immediately at his suggestion. It is just that I have become very possessive of this blog. It is mine, wholly and truly. There are no other administrators listed in my settings other than me. When something breaks here, I have to fix it. I add the pictures and the words and I am the editor, even if at times I do a crap job of editing. I see nothing selfish about claiming it as my own and his idea of taking it upon himself to turn it into a book sounded more like him taking some claim to my blog. I tried to be polite when I said "no thank you" because I know he means well. I know he just wants me to publish something. I know he believes that I could publish something. But the blog is not a book. The book will come from something outside of this space.
In this case, the words are the trout. Catching them is the easy part. The part after I've caught them is where I make a mess of things. The cleaning part. I'm going to start wielding a knife and by the time I'm done, the words will no longer be recognizable or convey meaning. It will no longer be the story it started out to be.
Except, some times, maybe I need to make a mess of things.