We landed in the capital of Tibet “Lhasa” at an elevation of 11,975’ both higher than a kite. As I descended the air stairs, from the planes door, my nose began to bleed. I took a tumble the full length of the stairs and hit the ground smashed. I began laughing hysterically as I grabbed for Jack. I guessed I was suffering from hypoxia but after a little help from Jack I was quickly back on my feet and raring to go. We were on a mission and time was wasting; we had humming birds to catch. Besides we couldn’t dilly dally, we were going to meet the Dalai Lama. Prior to our departure I e-mailed his highness explaining how Jack and I had transcended our earthly bounds and had met with the “Awakened One” on more than one occasion. A reply was received forthwith informing us that the Dalai Lama was anxiously awaiting our arrival and that a meeting had been set up in the high temple of Lhasa.
We were transported from the airport and dropped at the foot of the temples massive ascending stairway, which had the appearance of disappearing into the celestial. As I climbed, I had the distinct feeling that I was indeed, on the stairway to heaven. Once inside the great hall, surrounded by its supporting monolithic stone pillars, I noticed the presence of a permeating incense like odor. Not the same, but not unlike, the odor I had experienced, in my college days, emitting from the funny looking pipes that were the craze of the day. As I breathed in deeply, to better experience the euphoria that was taking hold of my consciousness, I felt my body levitate to a level just above the ground. Movement no longer required the physical act of walking, but only the thought. I was then telepathically transported and seated, in a lotus position, before the Dalai Lama. Although my eyes were blind to the physical world, I saw---- what was---- in perfect clarity. Before me was spread a blank music score, encompassing the whole of eternity; I was the conductor, able to set and vary the metronome of time ever lasting. I was the one to write the music of the spheres, harmony was the end product of all effort; for any discordance would eventually be coupled with its cancelling counter part, visible only to those able to slip the shackles of time finite. I was able to see the essence that transcends form, and distinguishes fish from man. Through thought alone I became the constellation Pisces, swimming peacefully along the river of time, appearing stationary only to those trapped in the physical world. I was the painter, deftly applying with each brush stroke, the color to each and every scale; which I proudly displayed on the sides of my, trout, salmon and char. I was the fly tier from who’s vice took form the life of all insecta; launching the hatch of creation and giving to the dreams of all trout fishers. I now realized the frivolity of catching humming birds, as I had the power to unleash a plague of the finely feathered avian in biblical proportion to rival that of the locust.
Just as I was arriving at the pinnacle of my experience I realized that my connection with the “Awakened One” was becoming ephemeral. My blissful state was interrupted by Jack’s beckoning call for me to return to the worldly bounds from hence I had departed. As I descended from my lofty all seeing perch, contiguous with the infinitely ethereal time space continuum, I had the pleasure to conjugate with the likes of: Dame Juliana Berners as she penned The “Treatyse of Fysshynge with an Angle” and I will confirm authorship and authenticity as duly noted by Ernest Schwiebert. I listened as Walton read from “The Compleat Angler”. I watched poetry take form on paper from the hand of John Donne. I conversed with Charles Cotton within the confines of his Beresford Hall home. I studied aquatic biology alongside Alfred Ronalds. I witnessed as the final period was placed, compleating George Philip Rigney Pulman’s “Vade Mecum of Fly-Fishing for Trout”. I watched William Stewart cast upon the Tweed. I took a front seat to Halford and Skues as they argued opposing techniques. I waved as: Ritz, Sawyer, Bethune, Norris, Van Dyke, Gordon, Steenrod, La Branch, Connett, Jennings, Knight, Bergman, Leisenring, Flick, Marinaro, Brooks, Fox, and Hewitt pasted en route to their favorite spots.
Comfortably situated in my favorite easy chair, a bar stool, I arose from the quiescent dream world. As my vision slowly gained focus I found myself staring at the pint sized stature of Jack standing atop the bar, still firmly grasped in my right hand. But the empty vessel confirmed that Jack’s spirit had long since departed. Yes, Jack sacrificed his all sending me into the dream world. The farmer next door, the humming bird feathers, the trip to Tibet, the temple, the levitation, The Dalai Lama, Nirvana, the conjugation with past great inspires of the beloved sport of fly fishing, all of it----- a dream.
I withdrew from the liquor cabinet, another gift from the heavens above, a fresh vessel of jack’s esoteric tonic. A new day had dawned, so Jack and I headed to the bench. We had worked to do. Before I sat down at the vice and Jack took his position behind the video camera, I turned to Jack and asked, “How do you do it?” He replied, “It’s as easy as looking through the bottom of a glass.”