When Life Is More Than Breathing

Next week, hope realized, Diane and I will be wading Muddy Creek, a few miles west of Kremmling, Colorado, fly-casting for either Rainbow or German Brown trout…all of which, of course, will be released. We will not be alone. Not alone. No.

With us will be Matthew Krane, who to me is my personal Rabbi Guide. My Rabbi Guide and I met more than ten years ago and my first cast on Muddy Creek saw the indicator disappear. The exploding water was a dramatic announcement from a bigger than large trout. Matthew stood downstream, net in hand. Then the bigger-than-big trout did its ballet on top of the water and in a moment when the twist of the trout and the ping of the leader coincided, the trout went south. And my line snapped north.

More than that moment…my Rabbi Guide sees life as more than fishingand breathing. Although in vacant moments, and they cannot be avoided, I ponder the fishing experiences. Not so well I’ve ever named a fish…but because the moment, with some of my valued friends, who “just happen” to be fishing guides, gives balance and goodness a classic definition. It is the Rabbi Guide who will interrupt me, ask me to see the flying hawk or the moving clouds and realize that he and I and Muddy Creek and the earth are one…where harmony happens.

This morning, a Sunday morning, Matthew Krane sent me this NY Times article by Oliver Sacks, a neurologist, who died just a week after this article was published, August of this year.

I don’t fuss over its length. I marvel at its depth. It’s about finding wholeness in the journey. It’s about SABBATH and what it can mean. It’s about facing life and death, the netted fish and the pinged leader, about it all. I share it now…because a hunch…and I can verify but won’t point fingers or look in my own mirror…the folk who measure each week before and after a Sabbath Day…well, the percentage would be a single figure.

And. When you are finished—I’ve done the same—take more than a moment or two—and think about both the content and pace of your journey. Is there time that keeps good distance from frenetic? Of course. More than a question. Now to Sacks, who writes with quality. Even more. Shares a great lesson. For each of us.



About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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