“Not Yet Begun To Fight”
When I am in a river, stream or crick, fly rod in hand, casting to rising trout in the hope of enticing them to my fly, or battling a trout hooked and running to be free, or, even, simply standing silent and still in a stream as the water swirls and speaks softly around my legs, I know a peacefulness which displaces all which may be a burden to me. It seems, that combat vets also can experience this burden displacing peacefulness.
Retired Marine Colonel Eric Hastings remembers flight missions ‘high above the death and destruction’ in Vietnam. From the cockpit, he traced meandering ribbons that cut through the jungle. He recognized the shapes of the trout streams of home. Every night, he dreamed about fly-fishing. When he returned home to Montana in 1969, to a nation decades away from diagnosing PTSD, he went to the water. He tied a fly onto a line and cast. The river, he says, healed him.
In the space between war and a new battle, NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT unfolds: The Colonel reaches out to five men, a new generation returning from war. He brings them to the river and shares his secret: there are places where you can still be consumed by a simple act, find joy in a fight, and be redeemed as you gently release another creature, unharmed, into quiet waters.
Quote obtained from the “About” page of the film Not Yet Begun To Fight. I salute Colonel Eric Hastings. I’ll be searching out this film.
Via Moldy Chum.
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