Recommended Reading: Sierra Golden
For the most part, I’ve been relying on my Facebook page to promote the books I’m currently loving, the writers who inspire me, the paragraphs so fist-to-my-mouth moving that I want to pass them along to you like the gifts they are. An easy, immediate exchange with those of you who hang out over there, I like watching the ripples of your responses. Sharing things here on Hooked feels much bigger, more time-consuming and cumbersome, enough so that I rarely do it. (Title? Tag? Embed links? Meh… screw it.) Shaming to say, but true.
There are, of course, very special exceptions.
Leaving a writing group this afternoon, I checked my messages before heading home. I had an email from Sierra Golden, fellow fisherman/writer/FisherPoet, with the subject line “Because you’re my writer friends.” She’d had a new essay published with South Writ Large, hoped we’d read it and share with a friend or two.
I don’t like reading stuff on my phone, but I clicked the link anyway, just to give it an initial glance. You know — like a writer friend does. Then I sat in the parking lot, fist to mouth, and read Sierra’s essay all the way through. Then I read it again. When I got home, I read it on the big screen. And now I want to extend Sierra Golden’s Prodigal Daughters to you, a gift of pecan pie and salmon dip and raindrops gathered in calloused hands:
Anchored in remote Ford Arm, a half day’s run north of Sitka, Alaska, I’m stuck doing chores around the boat — mending small holes in our seine net, changing oil in the main, and scrubbing the flat-top diesel stove until it shines. The five of us on board have several days of this before the Alaska Department of Fish and Game grants another opening to harvest pink salmon. Luckily, we’re not alone. Another three boats have rafted up with us, tying rub rail – to – rub rail, so that we all hang on one anchor and can socialize freely, stepping from boat to boat. Though it’s an acquired taste, I love the independence and beauty this life offers: when I overheat the skiff and burn out the impeller, my dad, the captain, looks me in the eye and says, “Fix it”; when I run out of butter in the galley, I learn to make biscuits with mayonnaise; and when the sun finally sets in the summer, the stars burn fierce and white through unpolluted darkness. There is an exaggerated simplicity to such a life: broken and fixed, make it work and working, and not a lot in between…