52 weeks – August 19, 2012

book

A River Runs Through It, by Norman Maclean. A classic, first printed in 1976, that begins with, “In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing” and ends with “I am haunted by waters” — two of the most perfect sentences ever written.

It’s a slow-moving, beautiful, semi-autobiographical book that blends instruction in the art of fly fishing into the story of a family with its joys and sorrows.

I have caught perhaps one fish in my life and have never personally understood the allure of fly fishing, but anyone can feel in sympathy with the general principle — the universal experience of working at an outdoor task, gaining a deep understanding of it, and blending with your surroundings until you are in harmony with the earth. Similarly, there can’t be many humans who haven’t experienced the tragedy of loving someone without being able to help them.

The detailed descriptions of lures and the technique of casting, and the emphasis on becoming as good a fisherman as you can be, awakened faint echoes of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

food

Halibut wrapped in smoked salmon with lobster and artichoke hearts at the Salmon House on the Hill. It sounds a bit over the top but in fact it was completely delicious. The restaurant used to be more celebrated for its view than the food, but now the food lives up to the location.

music

One of those outdoor concerts you can stumble upon when you are walking around Vancouver in the summer. A late afternoon, still very warm but starting to cloud over. Ben Sigston with Joel Meyers and Justin Kedis at Shipbuilder Square, Lonsdale Quay. Sigston is an interesting local musician who used to be a cyclist on the Canadian National Team. Cycling’s loss is music’s gain.

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