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25/11/02 - Freedom to See

As I write this, a rather nice Austrian girl is driving my van. In the wrong gear.

Anyway, I'm not going to write about that, even although she has just made the point that I must feel very safe with her driving, to be allowing her to drive while I write my newsletter. However, as I have just pointed out to her, I'm a flyfisher and have no fears.

She just turned the windscreen wipers on. Oh good. And it's not raining.

And apparently the Pulsewagon does own the road.

But before I continue, and following on from last week's newsletter, I'm looking forward to meeting up with Fishandfly's owner, Simon, at some point, he seems like a nice guy and assuming I survive the drive (too fast for the corner), it will be nice to talk about our experiences, they must be quite similar. Apart from which, I think our sites are quite polarised.

Which is getting closer.

the path takes you therePolaroids

Earlier in the year Bollé gave me a pair of their sunglasses. I had decided that I needed a pair having tried out Jim Curry's last season. He was spotting fish I simply couldn't see and it had to do with the lenses, in spite of everything that Jim said to the contrary. His were sandstone, mine were tan and the difference was staggering. At the time I said it was like wearing polarised sunglasses all over again.

But that's not quite it.

What this is really about is that Mount Cook looks better through polarised lenses than without. In fact all of nature looks better with polarisation. If you cut out the reflected light you see more clearly. Indeed the difference in New Zealand is remarkable; I suppose it must be something to do with the air purity.

Polarisation works by cutting out reflected light, and if this has the effect of making nature appear more beautiful, it must also have an effect on the wearer's psychology (yes, polaroid lenses really may be responsible for me losing my mind ;-)). Think about it, if you are wearing polarised lenses life is more beautiful and merely because you have filtered out reflections.

I'm not saying this is a good thing incidentally, although it may be. I mean Mount Cook is fairly awe-inspiring under the normal eye, and after wearing polarised lenses it's not quite the same. It's still good, but somehow it's not quite as good anymore. You're mind says, well it's nice, but hell I've seen it better. Putting on polaroids is better, and you can always keep them on.

The edge

And then there are other issues: polaroids do give us an unfair advantage over the fish. This opinion has been around ever since polaroids, and I know I would catch far less fish without them. But I would also enjoy fishing far less and not just (or at all) because I'm catching less fish, but because, for me, fish spotting is one of the most important aspects of trout fishing. It gives it the edge.

That's a bit like how I feel about nature. Sure Mount Cook is beautiful, but with polaroids it's mind-blowing. But if I live in polaroids, does this mean that I have a distorted view of the world? and yes I saw the pun too. But it's too late, I won't go back and I can't. Besides all we have to do to feel good is to lift up the glasses for a few seconds before putting them back down again and we get a wow effect.

But it goes deeper, since as interesting as it is to polaroid fish and nature, it is far more exciting to "polaroid" other people. And I'm not talking about wearing sunglasses.

Windows and mirrors

one is a reflection; smash the mirrorThrough genuinely looking people in the eye, I reckon you focus on one of two things, a reflection of your fears and insecurities or upon the other person, and let's face it; both are pretty amazing. Of course most people look away, but the real trick must be to put them “there” too (whatever “there” means of course). I suppose that this makes reflection an ego.

You will be able to buy Bollé sunglasses through the new and improved Sexyloops Tackleshop, which is coming your way soon... the first step on your path to a deeper vision. This way folks and don't forget your waders: swimming is obligatory.

Polaroiding canals

The thing about flyfishing canals is that sometimes you get to spot fish whilst driving. It must be quite a common technique, this meandering crawl along the road edge, half on half off, peering out the window, all the while trying to maintain some sort of contact with the road and not end up in the canal. If you are alone you also have the excitement of driving with only one hand since the other is holding the rod out of the window strategically.

In retrospect I got it all wrong: whenever I saw a fish (and I saw some really big ones), I'd slam on the brakes, shove in the reverse, leap out and start flycasting. After a while I found I was getting pretty good at this and began doing it all simultaneously. Everyone does it this way I suppose. What I should have done – of course – was to continue onwards, looking the other way, and then, when the coast was clear, doubled back on myself. I will be doing this on the way back down south again. I'm not saying it will be any more effective but I'm sure looking forward to the handbrake turns.


So yes… fishing… you see, anyone following the frontpage would have been inclined to think that I've been spending all of my time with crazy Austrian racing drivers, but I have been fishing. It hasn't been altogether spectacular, but it has been pretty important to get away from the Sexyloops life for a bit. I needed a break. Even from the things I enjoy – hell I don't want to get attached or bored. I know that when I do get online again properly (in about 8 days I should think) I'll have a hell of a lot of reading to do on the Bulletin Board :)

But right now I need to be free from this, and for a little while longer.

Last week Steve asked me to elaborate on a few things in the newsletter: “There are a couple of paragraphs that I think are incomplete (the stuff about mortgages and having ties etc) and you seem to back off (as in the no catch in the release article) which I'm guessing are from a fear of actually causing offence to whomever. These paragraphs are in fact potentially the most bloody interesting because a lot of us do have mortgages and ties and whatnot and so it would be a really good opinion to read. I think this is at the heart of the appeal of the site for many many people.”

Carlos wrote: “I have read your Newsletter today. I don't agree with you about relationships. The only thing that can improve a fishing day with lots of big catches and hatches in the most beautiful scenery is somebody next to you with a fishing rod in her hands, having as much fun as you are. Somebody you love. It is a question of finding that person. I can tell you that at least one exists :-))))”

Mount CookInteresting and beautiful stuff.

Freedom from compromise

Well this is it: I've had relationships and as interesting and as exciting and as educational as they all were I was never able to be myself. I don't believe in compromise anymore. I believe in doing exactly what I feel like doing and exactly when I feel like it. This is not egotistical, nor is it selfish. Compromise means fighting myself and I plain just don't want to live my life like that anymore.

I believe that every moment counts, right now. Always. If you fighting yourself then you are not following your “true path”. If it feels wrong then it is wrong.

I don't want to feel guilty for following my soul, higher self, gut instinct, will or whatever it is I believe in. If I want to go fishing – for example – I'll go fishing and for as long and as often as I like. Compromise doesn't bring me together with anyone; it stops me from being myself. Being myself leads to happiness. Feeling guilty for being happy really sucks. That's why I'm not in a relationship.

Carlos may be right, there may be such a girl, but it's a really small window now, and although I may change, right now I want to live my life and not give a fuck. I also believe that that is what life is about: following your deepest feelings, saying exactly what is on your mind, doing your own thing, being completely open with everyone because that is integrity. And if you do those things then you don't have to give a fuck because you're doing the right thing.

Freedom from attachment

I don't want to be tied down (well not unless it involves rope), attached, stuck or encumbered. I have experienced complete freedom and now everything else comes short.

And, for me, that is what this is all about. It's also what flyfishing is all about. It's also what life is all about and everyone I know feels the same thing. If you are not happy: change it. Life may well all be in the mind but feeling comes from the soul.

Want a site philosophy? There isn't one. Want a plan? There isn't one. Want a reason? Fuck it.

I'm not marketing anything; I'm not that cynical. And if I wasn't running Sexyloops I'd still be living it, maybe the more so. There is nothing to be frightened of. Ever. All fears come through attachments. Fear death? You are attached to life. Fear homelessness? You are attached to your home. Fear being on your own? Is your own company really that dull? Apart from which being on your own allows you to meet people.

This is what I think:

It's all very easy. You just let go. There is nothing to lose because you never really had anything anyway. And if anyone tries to tell you different, you can always put on your polaroids, tell them it's a beautiful world and drive straight into a canal.

Paul :-)

Next week: Why the Pulsewagon should have been fitted with a snorkel.

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