How a screwball troupe of Scandinavian, fly fishing jazz musicians can lighten your winter load
Not having ever picked up an affection for fly fishing, jazz, or nordic death metal, I didn't think I'd like this posting much. Surprisingly, I did. Yet another thing Matt introduced me to before I knew I needed it. Thank you.
Even though I don't really enjoy winter much, I do appreciate it. Makes the other three seasons more valuable. Besides, I agree with you about Florida. Think I'd rather live in Maine.
When I first moved up to New England I loathed winter. The cold weather months are unrelenting and April was truly the cruelest of all (no spring, all frost and ice). About a decade into this exile, deep in a seasonal abyss, I came to realize that while my mood was sour the migraines that plagued me during the warm-weather months almost fully abated. The shades of gray and outright darkness soothed whatever mis-firing neurons are in my brain. When it snowed, I dragged my kids out to go sledding--they liked it I loved it--and spent hours bundled up outside. The kids are too old for sledding, but I'm still outside running, walking, and generally enjoying what winter has on offer.
I'm not some winter weirdo who hates summer, but I've come to appreciate it...
So, the Tide rolls in and some February-flavored bad ju ju is shed, which compared to your ordinary run-of-the-mill-rest-of-the-year bad ju ju can be pretty distasteful in its own special way. So, props for that.
But couldn't you have waited until just a little later into the month to post this particular ju ju tonic? I mean, what if the bad stuff comes back before March gets here? Are we supposed to make it all the way through on just this? I'll admit it's pretty top shelf, Zenny and potent stuff, but so is the particular bad ju ju you just dispelled. Well, it's pretty darned potent at least.
Of course, this little gem arrived on Groundhog Day, so maybe that's a clue? Channeling a little Bill Murray as you hit send, just in case maybe? Guess there are worse things that could happen than re-reading this a few times.
Anyway, thanks for writing about fish and jazz and booze and not groundhogs. Plenty of guys out there to dish that lower shelf stuff.
"... with the light adjusted just right – luminousness with the shades drawn." - is one of the most glorious sentences I have ever read. You have exactly captured how that time of day & sunlight feels & is!
I loved your article - not because of the subject (I have no interest in fly fishing or jazz) - but because of the lyrical quality of it. Thank you.
As a fellow Norse person, I felt quite at home in the deeply ironic elan of these lads as they pursued their beloved rituals, having done the same myself. Ice fishing anyone?
Where on Gods green earth do you find this stuff?
You usually "hook" me with one of your labashian gems in the 1st couple of paragraphs, but this time it came in the wrap-up:
"The very act of casting is one of optimism, like offering up a prayer - blind hope that something fine and unseen will meet you on the end of your line, even when everything around you has gone sideways."
The closest I've ever come to fishing is reading that River Why book you recommended a few weeks back. But this line strikes me as a fantastic mindset with which to approach each day.
Sounds like you may be projecting here: "Now that half the country has resigned, or else decided to work from home in their sweats like degenerate meth cooks or Substack writers, commutes aren’t so much of a problem anymore."
THIS is the answer to the Zen koan. They (the Finns) are the play, not the actors (Inside baseball)...rare breed of H. sapiens.
Django was a demi-god who knew he was one, and made sport of many people, including Romani hating Nazis, and his Quintette du Hot Club de France, bandmate, Grappelli, in a love/hate relationship (jealousy), that you'd expect from an adolescent demi-god, not the full grown musical deity he surely was.
The ones who also lived their own production are the Norwegian kids who surfed their coastline in the Winter. Yeah, I watched and spread the word re: that unbelievable vid.
The Tord Gustavsen Trio is another Scandihoovian jazz group that sounds eerily similar to Jazz and..., but only if you're listening to them while on heroin. Could it have something to do with solar flares and magnetic fields?https://youtu.be/ppWqyCJBd58
Okay, Matt, you got me with this one. I might have to put fly fishing on my list of things to try. Thank you for your beautiful writing.
What? You don't like Norwegian death metal? Not even the second wave? A little corpse paint and shrieking might be just the anecdote for a winter where the debt ceiling fiasco makes us all feel like our country is skidding off the rails. Truth be told even with my Scandinavian pedigree I don't like it either, but Nordic vodka is delightful and would pair very well with your beloved Jazz & Fly Fishing.
Thank you, Matt, for giving me a bit of a break from this crazy world we live in.
In their entirety, arguably the best fly fishing videos ever made.
I believe you did them justice.