Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Approaching the Stream ...

As we approached the stream I saw a man in a wheelchair lofting a long line across the water with his flyrod, and the fly dropping lightly in the shady water underneath the overhanging bushes. “You see him out here all the time”, my father said, “He’s 85 years old!”

Decades of good and bad fishing have passed through my life since we came upon that scene of natural beauty. It means more to me now than it did then.

Author Ray Bergman, writing of fishing in a rainstorm reminisces, “The catching of fish seems insignificant in these memories of the play of the elements. I don’t remember much about it, but as I see it now, I believe that fishing was simply an excuse to get out in the open, to breathe air that came to me directly over open spaces, to face nature when she bared her soul.“*

I am revived by rural sounds, wild foliage, and the music of a flowing clear stream. I hope they revive you.

* Trout, by Ray Bergman, Alfred A. Knopf publisher, first published 1938, second edition, November 1952, page 3.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Are We Lawyers Embezzling the Language?

“Within the cyclonic shouting match that currently passes for our national dialogue, and from every point across the political spectrum, the people with whom we simply disagree we describe as “traitors;” policies we simply find unwise we call “Ponzi schemes;” actions we simply dislike we brand as “criminal.” This amped-up misuse of language constitutes a form of larceny—the hijacking of words from their intended course of calmly rational exchange, off-course into a gale of emotional invective.

“You won’t be a part of that for the simple reason that you can’t. You’ve been taught here that, as lawyers, you are the custodians of language. No other profession holds language so fully in its care.

“Thus, for you, such antics would be far darker than mere larceny—they’d be embezzlement. And you will not consort with the embezzlers of language—in fact, you’ll denounce them. And every time you do, that will be Tech.”