30 September 2009


I am hopelessly addicted to fishing.

This is entirely my husband’s fault.

He grew up in Saskatchewan, where there are lakes everywhere and lots and lots of fish. He’s been fishing for as long as he can remember. This summer, he taught me how to cast and … that was it.

Fishing is whole-body-mediation. You get ready to cast … you check that the space around you is clear, and you get into position. You put all your will into sending the lure out in a beautiful arc over the water, as far as it can reach. You hold the rod out in front of you, pointing at the spot you hope to hit and wait for the splash, then start to reel in the line - not too fast, not too slow - watching and waiting for a tug on the line.

Most of the time, that tug just means you snagged on some weeds. Reel in the line, shake the vegetables off the hook, and try again.

(I am an excellent vegetable fisherperson. I’ve done my share of cleaning out weeds from the lakes I’ve fished, believe me!)

Once in awhile, though, that tug is a fish, and then the excitement begins!

Now see, I even understand how this works. I do have a psychology degree after all, and I know that intermittent reinforcement (where the reward comes at random intervals, rather than every single time you do the ‘trick’) creates behavioural patterns that are extremely difficult to extinguish. Each time, you think “well, maybe this time is it!” so you keep going.

Yep, that’s how fishing works.

I’m okay with that.

You know, there are worse ways to spend your time. :)

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