Saturday, July 2, 2016

My REALLY BIG Fish Story

"At the Rivers Bend"- 16 x 20 Original Acrylic
You reach a certain age in your life and you find it interesting how an activity that you did as a child maybe a handful of times becomes such an important part of you memories.  It's those good times that stand out among the mundane.  That is what this whole "Down Country Roads" collection has been for me.  A journey back to my country roots and it is this passion for a simpler life that drives me to keep painting this theme.

Back in the 60's and 70's there just wasn't the entertainment for small children that we have today.  No toys of every shape, size and color or videos, game systems, smart phones or tablets to pass the hours in overstimulated technological euphoria.  No, in my childhood, entertainment was something you had to create yourself with your own imagination and meager surroundings of sticks, leaves, rocks and acorns.  I can only recall one real family vacation that had actually had a destination that didn't end in Western Kansas and my granny's house.  So spending a day on the river once in a while with my family and particularly with my grandmother was something that very much stands out in my memory.

There was a particular spot that was a family favorite to fish on the Gasconade River and high above on the cliffs was a large cave that contained a great number of bats.  As the sun dropped down below the trees and the night creatures began to stir, the bats would begin to fly out of the cave to hunt the abundance of bugs that flew around the water.  They were aerial acrobats that would dive bomb the river and give quite a show with their athletic skills.  Their sonar abilities however weren't able to detect the fishing lines and often they would hit your line as they skimmed the surface of the river.  This was absolutely thrilling to me and was almost as exciting as catching that big fish

The activity of fishing has always held a special place in my life even if I haven't got to fish in years.  As a child, growing up in Missouri, fishing the river for catfish was one of my favorite things to do mostly because I associated it with my dear grandmother.  I was her fishing buddy from a very young age.  I could sit with her quietly for hours adoring all the special attention I received from her.  It was just the two of us and the river waiting to see who could catch the biggest fish.  I wish I had a picture of her and I sitting together and I would paint that right into my very next piece.

So this morning I put on my creative hat and started writing a verse about some of the highlights a true fisherman goes through when trying to "Hook the Big One".  Let me know if you can relate to my "fishing is the greatest therapy" comparison.  It is the one time that my mind shuts off to everything else and my FULL attention is given to the gentle flow of the water current and the possibility of all those fish hidden below the surface just getting ready to check out that fat juicy worm.  How about you?

"The Fishing Hole"- 11 x 14 Original Acrylic

The Fishing Hole
Julie Townsend

Here you sit at your favorite fishing hole
Most times it’s more like a giant wishing hole
You’ve known for years this is where the big one swims
If you could only hook him as the light fades and dims
You dream of the struggle it will take to reel him in
You can almost hear the slap on the water of tail and fin
Pulled down far on your brow is your lucky hat
Grooves in the ground from the years your folding chair has sat
Your hook is loaded with your favorite bait
There is nothing for you to do now but to sit and wait
The old tackle box is packed to the brim and ready
Your pole and reel are in your hand held steady
Time seems to stand still for just a moment
Nothing can come between you and your underwater opponent
The cares of the world all fade from sight
Everyone knows that fishing is therapy to get your head right
A folding chair is way cheaper than a therapist couch
And the few hours at the river bank will always straighten your slouch
Today everything is in that perfect place
After all catching fish is certainly no race
Covered from head to toe in sticky mosquito spray
Hoping it will keep those little blood suckers away
Swatting flies that insist on landing on the tip of your nose
While keeping a close eye on the ants crawling around your toes
These are the payments and dues you must pay
To sit here dreaming of the BIG ONE on such a perfect day

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