I almost called this post “The Soul-butter Fishing Blues.” Samuel Clemens used the term “soul butter” in Huckleberry Finn, but I think the term had a negative connotation, as when the king and duke defrauded villagers with their version of reality and sold them some imaginative snake oil.
I was feeling the soul-butter blues, that mean low-down feeling that can build inside your tissues when you need to fish but the world of labor, mundane or otherwise, has you shackled. Relatively speaking, the soul butter, as I know it, is a mild malaise. You know that things could be much worse, but then again, what’s worse for an able-bodied angler than to be tied up when the wading shoes are parked beside the door?
…I ain’t never felt no blues like this before…
Damn it all, I’ve found another piece of music that’s possessed me. I accidently bumped into Karen Lovely’s “Never Felt No Blues” and it floored me. …I ain’t never felt no blues like this before… Had my share of black, black nights… I’ve been pacin’ the floor… It seems that Karen is a rising queen of the blues, and I like her sultry voice and unpretentious style.
When I checked into the history of this song, I found an original version by B.J. Sharp, recorded in the late 90s, about a decade earlier than Lovely’s cut. It too sounds terrific to my blue-veined ears. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPSFAoq6u4w
I’ve been playing both versions of the song repeatedly and can’t decide which one is better. Each one has a different punch for that soft spot at the core of me. I was overthinking all of this, of course, and knew I had to simplify.
Yeah, I’ve got the soul-butter blues, the temporary no-fishing blues, and luckily nothing more. It’s not the real blues, with its biblical heartbreak and black-night pacing of the floor, the kind I remember all too well from the years before my marriage.
Who needs such a gut-wrenching heart explosion? The kind that makes soul butter look like picnic fare without the trouble of ants. Nonetheless, the song moves me out of darkness toward the light, as if to say, I’m glad it ain’t me who’s involved!
It’s the deep blues from a woman’s point-of-view, from entanglement and despair, and if you think it’s simple, guys, well, try to sing a few bars. It ain’t soul butter, if you do it right.
Which brings me to say: I really need to fish again. The heavy rains have kept me off the stream at times; I’ve had work both here and there, and minor ailments have raised their ugly faces on occasion– all of which is good– to a point. But when a guy needs to fly-fish, hell, he needs to go!
By the time you read this, I’ll have tried the water again. I’ll be moving on to Cedar Run and, next week, the Yellow Breeches. I look forward to that mix of free and limestone water on the Breeches, even though the fish are mainly stocked. I’ve fished that creek only once before, and I know there’ll be a set of challenges.
I’ve wondered how the Yellow Breeches got its name… Apparently, British soldiers during the Revolutionary War scrubbed their white leggings in the tannic water and got them stained… yellow. Like soul butter… We can chuckle and imagine their surprise. And we can listen to the problem once again…
I ain’t NEVER felt no blues like this before….