For the longest time my husband has considered my writing to be a hobby, and has often referred to his enjoyment of fishing as a comparison. This infuriates me, for I perceive it as so much more. I believe it to be my calling–something I don’t necessarily want to do, but rather it calls out to me, constantly nagging and berating me into its devotion.
Anyway, after recently considering the matter, I’ve realized that perhaps I was the one not fully understanding the comparison. I took the time to get over my own indignation, and had quite an epiphany. I realized that I was applying my own assumptions or perceptions of what fishing meant to me, yet I failed to understand what his perceptions might be. So, I thought about it…
He loves the act of throwing a line into stilled water, watching the undulating ripple dissipate, while anxiously awaiting that pull of power from the unknown at the other end of the line. He calls this his time of peace–where the mind is free to roam and relax against the calm embrace of nature. I get that now, that was the intended comparison. I was simply hung up on that single word: hobby! I wanted a more precise and elegant lexicon to acknowledge my efforts.
Don’t get me wrong! I do consider writing much more difficult than fishing, of course. I mean–writing is a very internal process, it requires lots of synapses to snap and flick just right, in an often frustrating attempt to conjure up new worlds, and characters that actually think and feel and act in all sorts of crazy ways. It is truly exhausting, and arduous and rarely easy. Whereas, fishing is an external interaction in a living, tangible environment. Yet, in the end, both could or should provide the same result: that Zen-like trance, that feeling of unawareness to all those walls that otherwise enclose us.
Sometimes, I think we all get so hung up on the words and their meanings, and our own (mis)perceptions, that we don’t stop to realize that not everyone shares the same definitions and interpretations.