From the moment we were kids trying to undue a tough knot in our shoelaces, we have encountered tangles. Tangles can build slowly or sometimes happen suddenly. Some sneak up on us and some are never visible until it is too late. I’m not just talking about fishing line or tippet here.
We have all had work place tangles and relationship tangles and maybe even tangles with death. Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”. I’m not suggesting that next time your fishing and you get a massive wind knot that death will be knocking at the door. No, I mean to overcome or outlast an event (or tangle) will make you better in some way.
At the moment of clarity when you can see the tangle and are saying, “What a mess I’ve gotten myself into”, this is a pivotal moment of karma, fate, or just plan dumb luck. What will happen next? Will the problem resolve itself? Is it time to give up and walk away? Or do you hunker down and go into one on one combat of mind and matter with your tangle. At these moments, I have slowed down enough to catch some very large fish following these moments of chaos. I want to believe that I have won most of these battles, but I remember at least one where I gave up and moved on.
The beauty of a Tenkara knot is that muscle will not resolve your tangle. Only two things can solve your problem. One is a clippers and new tippet and the other is unworldly patience. So in my book a Tangle with a fly rod or Tenkara rod or even in life is an event that comes straight from the old TV show Kung Fu with David Carradine.
Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Po: Do you hear the grasshopper which is at your feet?
Caine: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?
A quote from Kung Fu (1972) TV Show.
In life it is often a good thing to slow down and face your tangle for enlightenment is not far away.