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Not So Simple

Fisherman Painting Anne Buck

Maggie wrote this essay in September 2023 to read at "Art in the AM," an event with the Rehoboth Beach Writer's Guild in Delaware, USA.


When I first looked at this painting, my reaction was, “There is nothing more to say.”

But of course, there’s always more to say, and it led me to my own story.

I recalled moments from my recent trip to The Netherlands to be with my Dutch boyfriend. We did some traveling around, but we also had many days at his home, working on our computers, going for walks, watching an occasional movie together, and sitting on the couch, feet up, toes touching while we drifted through conversations.

Watching the fisherman cast, probably too far even for those minnows, while the big fish, the goal, the reward, the big payoff, circle around his boots. That says it all.

The security of loving and being loved greatly, and I mean greatly, is a catch (I mean a situation) I privately dreamed of for many years.

In 2018, I met a man who, at a soul level, I knew immediately was special and I wanted more. Boots on the ground dating, however, swimming through obstacles such as living on two different continents and having two different mother tongues, both with happy family lives close to home; it's a process. We just finished Date # 15. 32 days without the need for nightly WhatsApp video calls.

As I gaze at the painting, I wonder: will the fisherman ever connect his hook with those prize fish that are so close to him and yet so far away?

Thinking back over the almost five years of our relationship, clinging to that last evening of Date #15, and noting the tenderness of keeping together with our toes while sprawled on his couch, minds focused each on our own separate reading, gratitude swept through me as I realized the profundity at hand.

A thought arose:

“The road to such a commonplace/simple moment is not nothing.”


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