Welcome to Becomning Closer! 

Letters from an Ancient Mind

My dear young friend,

It is good of you to ask. My health, in general, is quite good. There is a goodly amount of pain in my bones, however, which does seem to get worse in time of foul weather. Pain is now my companion in this life. I will not drink enough wine to remove it, for that would be drunkenness. I must confess, however, that a draft of wine now and then does ease the matter. I am fond of it at the end of the day. It aids my sleep, I find, and adds to warmth. Since the passing of my dear Mary Ann my body is not so warm as it once was. Particularly in the late hours of the night, cold and pain are often my companions. Many a morning my son’s wife finds me by the fire, especially in winter.

It is summer now, and I have a different remedy. The early hours are the best for fishing, as all know. I do not fish as those who must live by it, but rather use the pole than the net. It is a most enjoyable thing.

My eyes see none too well at distance. But close up they are still working, and so I can still find the hook to put it on the line. My grandson has given me many hooks with the lure in place. It has taken much time to master which lure works best in which place, and with what fish. But that is the way of old men. When I was a young man I would insert the hook in some pork. Only the greediest of fish would take such bait. As I grew older I learned to net some small fish and use them to snare the large ones. Now I have mastered the art. I tease the fish with a bit of horsehair which only looks as if it could be eaten. I rather enjoy the thought that I have snared them and given them nothing in return.

What a wicked fellow I am – to the fish! This is the way Satan deals with us all. When I was young he dangled dead meat in my face. Only the young fool would play the drunkard without thinking. Only the young fool would chase the wench and expect more than a night’s pleasure. So it is with the fish; only the young fools will eat dead meat.

When I grew older, Satan used live bait on me. No longer the pleasures of the flesh, but the companionship of the world. How great is the desire to be accounted one of the fellows! It is a small fish; I am a big fish; surely all is well. At least the big fish got a last meal.

But now there is no last meal. I am Satan to these fish! As Satan wants to give me pride and nothing of value, so I snare these fish with nothing but horsehair and a hook. I float it on the water and pull on it erratically. It appears to be a delicacy; an insect on the surface of the water. The poor fish must decide; shall I make the great leap and devour the unsuspecting insect? It is the fish who is unsuspecting!

Now you see why Satan hates fishermen – they know too much of his ways! Perhaps this is why our Lord chose so many of them to become his Apostles. I know not. I know that I shall bury this letter for you – and then I will go fishing.

Hoping you enjoy the same, I remain

Isaac the alchemist

Previous     Home     Next