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Weekly excerpt to help us remember the sacred.
Weekly Reading Aug 15, 2022

Fishing Before You Know How To Fish

–Courtney Martin

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2574.jpgThrough the pines and the one maple I hear her.

I shouldn’t have gone fishing if I didn’t know how to fish.

I shouldn’t have gone fishing if I didn’t know how to fish.

There she stands

legs impossibly long

pink and black polka dot swimsuit baggy

pole in her hands

and a little oval sunfish impossibly on her hook.

I don’t tell her, but I do think

Oh, sweet girl, life is always like that.

Fishing before you know how to fish.

Leaving before you know how to leave.

Speaking before you know how to speak.

Fighting before you know how to fight.

Loving before you know how to love.

Dying before you know how to die.

We are all the child with the pole

worrying about who we’ve hurt.

And we are all the fish on the hook,

hoping for mercy.

Her aunt hears her muttering prayer

and though she hasn’t unhooked a fish in 30 years

grabs the wriggling innocent in her hands

and dislodges metal from cheek.

And this, too, is all of us.

Saved again and again by prayer we didn’t know we were saying

and a witness we forgot was listening.

How do you relate to the notion that life sometimes brings us to a spot where our proficiency is insufficient? Can you share a personal story of a time you were saved by a prayer you didn’t know you were saying and a witness you forgot was listening? What helps you lean into the unknown when faced with a lack of proficiency?

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