1/25/2010

Bamboo Dialog

The New Year always brings me to a new visualization or the need for a fresh start of some kind. A personal ritual is always a new shipment of cane to start it off on the right foot. It's kind of like bringing in new visitors for an extended 3-5 year stay. After a new shipment of cane arrives checking occurs and the sounds of popping resonate throughout the house for weeks if not months. 

Like new visitors culms acclimate to their new environment at their own pace. The security alarm is set off by a single culm checking in the middle of the night. This goes on until ADT either fines me or I insulate the culms, usually the latter. Checking is a natural progression that a culm of bamboo goes through as it dries and adjusts to its given environment. The only time a fly rod will ever make an audible noise is before its split in the form of a culm. I always like to think of it as a time the bamboo speaks its mind before a maker binds and glues it into submission. 

I often imagine that the popping sounds translate into a kind of secret bamboo dialog amongst the resting culms. They chit chat in this secret morse code and have a lot of questions in regards to the sharpness of the makers planes, is it painful to be split?, and what's it like to grow up and be a fly rod? This all starts to sound a bit Jeppetto-esque but spending countless hours handling bamboo your imagination wanders into some strange places. In the wee hours of a dark and cold January evening I think of the Disney classic Pinocchio while hand planing strips;

 “Little puppet made of pine, awake. The gift of life is thine.”
~The Blue Fairy
                       
“Little fly rod made of cane, awake. Before I go insane.”
~Clint