Confluences and Influences

I love fly fishing, and camping, my family, and really good Texas barbecue. With that in mind, this little blog will give insight on fly fishing, camping, gear, and I’ve even sprinkled in some true stories that are hopefully interesting to a few people. I started the blog one morning in a Colorado Free University class with a whiskey hangover. Try to keep up.

Spots like the stars.

I’ve met thousands of people in my over forty years on planet earth. Their backgrounds and stories are fascinating, and I consider these stories great gifts of their friendship. The experiences in my life, just as everyone else’s, consist of confluences. Some of them are people who have joined my stream for the long haul, while others are places that have influenced my life in a million different ways. Some I’m not even aware of yet. We all have absorb these contributions as we meander. Some are good, some are bad. It’s all about what you take from them.

Rivers have been compared to just about everything in our human lives. From relationships to careers, to life itself. When I happen upon a small trickle of water feeding into a larger river I can’t help but get sentimental about this planet and our existence and all that other hippy shit. I start to wonder where the trickle started and how many smaller streams contribute to the might of the large river I’m standing in, and what this river might look like where it empties into the ocean. Where did this large river begin as the first drops of snowmelt? The same as all of us I assume. Small and immediately immersed in our surroundings which provided our initial directions on our path towards the person we would become.

As my river flows down the canyons and valleys, daily tributaries of people and experiences continue to contribute to my journey towards the ocean, whatever that might be. My wife calls it trajectory. What if I hadn’t lingered for a few more seconds at the party? What if I had never found the courage to introduce myself to her. Would my tributaries never had included my three beautiful daughters? Being aware of these moments as they happen isn’t in my wheelhouse so it seems I reflect more than I recognize.

The day I was laid off with half of my coworkers in 2008, I had no idea I would start a jewelry and furniture design business. I didn’t even know what a trunk show was. Yet I met people at craft shows for years that I still stay in contact with today. Like the river, we just keep on moving, absorbing the trickles as we plow ahead into the unknown.

Confluences have made us what we are, and like it or not, continue to change our trajectory. To this day, I haven’t met anyone from a smaller town than I’m from. When I return home I enjoy the simplicity, but I’m also very aware of how glad I am my perspectives have changed with my experiences outside of such a sheltered place. When I was growing up, there were no other religions outside of Christianity, there were no black families in the whole county, and if you weren’t Republican people thought you must be gay. Homophobia was rampant and racism was more commonplace than I like to admit.

Growing up in America’s heartland, it seemed that we were raised to have national pride without hesitation or educated comparisons. “This is the safest country on earth,” they would say while sleeping with a firearms near their pillows. I realize now that when you grow up with fear you don’t even notice it. That’s scary.

Toxic tributaries have slowly evaporated into the dark clouds above although I still close the irrigation channels when I take my educated city boy ass back to the Golden Spread. So the dilemma is ongoing, and in some ways, the reason I decided to start writing in the first place. My experiences in two different worlds has been interesting enough to a handful of people I’ve met that it became clear some of these stories should be shared. If not for my own personal joy, then for my offspring. They need some reference as to why I’m a little off.

So enjoy, or don’t. It’s your river.

“SETI is a mirror, a mirror that can show ourselves from an extraordinary perspective and can help to trivialize the differences among us.” – Jill Tartar

Published by willbarch78

I grew up in the middle of nowhere Texas. The nearest Walmart was a full two hours away. My family still runs a ranch back home that I grew up on, but at some point in my treasured youth I hung up the idea of becoming a cowboy, and pursued my passion for architecture. Today I still find myself trying to fit in to a life that has treated me with the average ups and downs one can expect after a certain number of years. My wife and I moved to Denver after attending Texas Tech School of Architecture in Lubbock as we needed a grade change from the Llano Estacado. We camp with our three growing girls all summer and into the fall while I write and create and fly fish to maintain sanity. Life is moving fast as our careers and children progress in all areas, so being outdoors with each other keeps us mostly grounded.

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