After the passing of my brother Santi, himself a B.A.S.S. Life Member, a couple of months ago, while recalling all the places we fished and enjoyed together, I understood why he was my closest brother, (third of nine): my pal in the endless search of our fishing Shangri La, that magnificent Outdoors, always dreamed, never found.Now that I think of it, I'm sure you and my brother would have connected at first sight. He was an architect that hated to work in cities, or crowded surroundings. His "métier" was full of open spaces, and he enjoyed to build something that did not break the natural harmony of the landscape. And if there was some kind of flowing water around, so much the better!
I wish I had met Santi, I wish I would meet more people who worked simply, worked with, not against, what was there.
Allowed for life, to be.
Allowed to be part of the flow, not an obstruction.
I stood on the dock this morning and gave my friend, Haaby, his flow…did not want to be an obstruction as his dream floated on the Mystic River before him.
I watched as the first B.A.S.S Federation Nation Spanish competitor came through take-off.
Later, in broken English from Haaby, “I so very, very thanks to be here.”
“I…I dream this for 31 years…31 years…”
When a man tells you his dream, you wish him well.
When a man shows you his dream, all you can do is say thank you, thank you for bringing another dream to life.
To life, that is, you.
That, is me.
Because it gives life, to our dreams.
“…I'm gonna make myself a better man…”
Life, as it should be.
Life, as it IS at its core.
Without the politicians.
Without the rulers, and kings.
With just us.
One on one, one to one.
We have here competitors from 7 different states…and two countries.
Take their jerseys off…make them all stand naked.
And they are just us. Us in our naked ugliness, us in our naked beautifulness.
Different skin, same species.
When Haaby stood on the dock today smiling as his team from Spain came by, he had on the same smile, the same exact feeling I did as I watched the team from Connecticut go by.
As the “us” who watched the team from Vermont float by.
As did New York.
As did New Hampshire.
As did Massachuttes.
As did Maine.
As did Rhode Island.
Last night I wanted to get a photo of the two teams from outside of America…Canada and Spain.
I told them to line up for the shot.
And they did.
But how they did it took my breath away.
They didn’t line up as Team Spain.
They didn’t line up as Team Canada.
They lined up as Team Us.
Together…mixed…all mingled like.
Like we should be when it is just us figuring things out.
That photo will be one that will hang in my office, forever.
And printed on the photo mat will be these words from Haaby:
“A La Medida Del Hombre”
“Size Of The Man”
Haaby told me that if we could shrink the size of the world so that it fits the people in it, “you would be able to reach each other.”
And when we reach each other, we will find out that we are all us.
And once the competition is over, I will send Haaby a copy of the same photo, and on the mat I will write this:
“We Share & No Biting”
Life, at its core.
“…Am I gonna make it
“A Better Man”
[see db's photos of the Spain team here.]