23 July 2014
Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Akhmatova’s Requiem. That was a simple yet powerful poem reflecting on a nightmarish period. Often works kept simple are the most profound. May we hope and pray we are not to endure such evil again. Your notation on Berdyaev’s Paradox of Evil is quite chilling as well.
On a lighter note, I’ve been cycling into the upper reaches of the Cranberry and fly fishing for the Brookies. The acid rain really took a toll on this drainage, but the limestone efforts appear to be gradually bringing it back. Coal and good paying jobs versus the environment and outdoor recreation. A never ending West Virginia story. It’s a bloody shame what mountaintop mining is doing to the state. Appalling. Perhaps the shift to gas fired plants over time will have a constructive effect, though the impact from hydraulic fracturing is not entirely clear either. At any rate, you should make an attempt to head back this way bringing that Oregon bamboo job you bought on a while back on E-bay. The North and South Forks of the Cranberry are the perfect sections for such a lightweight rod. I know your not much on the pale, gangly stockers, so bring your mountain bike and hiking shoes. I’ve also made a few stabs into some of the Greenbrier feeders hunting the Brookies as well. The laurel is thick this year and the Copperheads and Timber Rattlers seem to be pretty abundant, as is typical. However, this is part of the challenge of casting to such small sections and to such small quarry. The little Brook Trout are tough survivors. Bushwhacking along I’ve noticed a few Ruffed Grouse and hope to be able to get out this fall with the pointer. Christopher Camuto really did a nice job capturing the life of flyfishing and grouse hunting in such country through his two works, A Flyfisherman’s Blue Ridge and Hunting From Home. I know you’ve read these, but I reread them occasionally to escape the day.
I’ll end with a thought for you. I’ve decided that William Jefferson Clinton was a leader and a fine President. I realize the Lewinsky bit, but hear me out. This man while in office had fortitude. It took courage to buck his own “contemporary liberal” ranks to sign the NAFTA treaty. This was an admirable thing to do and will bear fruit for many years. He also was a fine financial steward, keeping the country in budgetary surpluses during the last three years of his second term. Further, ex the episodes in Kosovo and Somalia, Clinton kept the country out of exorbitant and lasting military campaigns. These three matters, NAFTA, surpluses and minor military actions are what define his presidency for me. I believe, given the forgiving American public and his continued high approval ratings, this is the thought of the general public (with whom, as you know, I’m not always aligned) as well. I’m not sure, however, his other half falls in the same line of thinking.
Wishing you good health,