Healing The Fisher King A Fly Fishers Qu

Scott G Sparrow

Published by WE PUBLISH, 2005
ISBN 10: 1929841280 / ISBN 13: 9781929841288
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Synopsis: A powerful true story of one man's spiritual and emotional healing on the home waters of his childhood. Lured by the dream of catching a great fish in the middle years of his life, the author is drawn into an initiation in which he must decide to live fully or to die.

From the Publisher: In the tradition of MacLean’s A River Runs Through It, and Dodson’s Faithful Travelers, the book Healing the Fisher King: A Fly Fisher’s Quest, is the story of one man’s journey in 1997 to the familiar waters of his childhood -- to the south Texas, primitive coastal estuary known as the Lower Laguna Madre.

A second, relatively brief story appears in one- to two-page segments at the beginning of each chapter and recounts a recent ordeal with a life-threatening cholera-like infection brought on by a stingray’s wound. The stingray attack is clearly foreshadowed by the dreams and events chronicled in the main chapters and effectively completes the original account. Lured by a desire to catch a giant speckled trout -- but directed by a luminous dream that points to the Laguna Madre as the setting for healing and transformation -- Sparrow takes his boat and his eight-year-old son on a journey from Virginia to south Texas that proves more difficult and more meaningful than he imagines. He soon discovers that the unresolved pain in his life -- stemming, in part, from his parents’ divorce and now his own -- is also alive in his son, who feels deeply wounded and angry at his father for leaving him. As they spend the first ten days fishing together, Sparrow and his son spiral into a dark place that is, at first, confusing and disturbing. The author draws upon the legend of the Fisher King and the Holy Grail, Jungian psychology, and his family’s past in order to arrive at a way to address his son’s needs, as well as his own. Their time on the water culminates in a powerfully moving exchange that opens the way for a more trusting relationship between father and son. As the author begins his concerted fly fishing search for the fish so aptly named named cynoscion nebulosis (i.e. starry nebulae), his experiences soon reveal the spiritual dimensions of the quest, in which the search for a great fish mirrors his lifelong yearning for communion with God. Making his way slowly toward the great fish and the wholeness that he seeks, he must, however, confront his own "shadow" before he can proceed any further toward the goal. He is led throughout by radiant dreams, mystical encounters, his knowledge of spiritual traditions, and a willingness to face his own past with ruthless honesty. Sparrow then confronts a new initiation brought on by the appearance in his dreams and reveries of a feminine presence, or anima, who seems intent on bringing him to an awareness of what he has done all his life -- recoiling from his feelings, breaking promises, and denying his deeper needs. He relives earlier experiences in which he remained aloof from his heart, including an encounter with a Mexican prostitute when he was 15, the loss of a beautiful hawk through his negligence, and his failure to catch the fish of a lifetime in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Against a backdrop of rich, but largely failed fly fishing experiences, Sparrow considers how his parents fell short of their own dreams, and realizes that he has to follow his own path, rather than to live out a pattern of denying his soul’s sincere desire. While he makes progress toward understanding his lifelong resistance and how it affects his fly fishing efforts, Sparrow nonetheless sets the stage -- by breaking a promise that he makes with God -- for an eventual encounter with death through the agency of a stingray’s painful wound. Becoming infected with Vibrio vulnificus, a deadly bacteria in the cholera family, he eventually realizes that he has a choice -- to live fully, or to die. The resolution of this crisis parallels the author’s consideration of the importance of the body on the spiritual journey. Drawing on his own past, his mother’s search for meaning, and examples from Tibetan Buddhism and Medieval Christianity, Sparrow becomes aware of the grief he holds concerning his mother and the debt he owes her for giving him life. With the help of his mentor Chas Matthews -- to whom the book is dedicated – Sparrow experiences a powerful encounter with his mother’s memory that paves the way for his emotional rebirth. In the end, he invites Kathy -- the woman whose love he spurned at the beginning of the journey -- to join him for the end of his retreat. With Kathy by his side, Sparrow meets new tests that spring up around his relationship with his brother. Meanwhile, Scott and Kathy find themselves being drawn inexorably into the natural realm -- to the point where a sense of oneness is experienced through dreams and remarkable encounters with the animals that inhabit the Laguna Madre. In the end, Sparrow experiences the beginning of a new life that awaits him. Sparrow’s extraordinarily intimate relationship with Spirit and his candor about his own struggles puts the reader in touch with ageless spiritual truths grounded in the immediacy of human contact

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Healing The Fisher King A Fly Fishers Qu
Publisher: WE PUBLISH
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Trade Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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