Tag Archives: Stupid Tuesday

Knee Deep

There is no place I’d rather be, than knee-deep, with a stick. A pastime, needing not the roar of a crowd, I do it for myself. No need to wet a line or feel tension on the end of my cane, just as content, with pen and pad, whilst leaning, next to the river.

ck fishing

Of contentment, I enjoy watching a good leaf travel downstream. Harvesting fish, with a blade creating Nigiri Sushi or fried crappie. Natural beauty, picturesque landscapes, pleasing aesthetics, the mind can rest, rejuvenate and be left only to wander.

Fishing the flats of the Ocean, chalk streams of foreign prairie lands and alpine snowmelt. These are my homes. A place where there is nowhere to go, because I’m already here.

Water, never judging, always accepting, the source of life. Covering seventy percent of Earth and Newborn Child, life and water are synonymous, like joy and fishing. This is where I belong.

God created water and Fish before man. Jesus and Hemingway fished and so does my tribe. There is no place I’d rather be, than standing knee-deep waving cane.

Images of me holding a tiny rod and a green 2.5 gallon bucket beside my grandfather and his old blue truck are my first memories. The only thing ever in the bucket was responsibility and I owned it. The bucket and I were pretty tight in those days and I continue to cherish responsibility.

I remember fishing with my father for the first time on a reservoir at the family farm in Southeast Arkansas. He, telling me stories about being my age, having to prime an old hand pump with water for it to work. He talked about the dead heat of summer, dripping sweat. He’d pour the water it in, pump and repeat until finally water started trickling out the spout. Then he’d do it again and again until it poured cold, fresh water to quench his thirst. What I learned that day is you get out of life what you put in.

I remember teaching my best friend to fly-fish in the Spring River. We’d ride backroads, and visit hours on end about life, listening to our favorite music, singing. Our third trip he started to get the hang of wading knee deep, waving cane in the swift, cold water. He’d load the tip of his fly-rod, patiently wait for the line to unravel and extend from a tight loop to a straight line, watching it behind him until he unloaded the tip and the fly changed direction across and up the stream. He stripped his line a few times straight towards his belly button and wham his first trout. He admired and respected the art. After releasing the fish, he retired to a shade tree with a Hemingway book, pad and dull pencil. We fished many times after this, never did he cast more than a few minutes before retiring to his shade tree, watching me, his book, his pad, nursing a smoke and iced wine. My friend died a few months after he landed his first and only fish, the most glorious rainbow, a scrawny little stocker fish, my favorite fish of all time. The rainbow taught me to appreciate the small things in life.

Six years ago was born my first daughter. When she was a week or two old we took a family trip to the lower Norfork tailwater in Northern Arkansas. She had become one with me. Often packing her on my front with a Baby Bjorn, cooking and such other fine chores I want her to learn at her spongy-brained age. This day, at three weeks old, we fished. Papa and his baby girl. Down the mountain to a floating dock, I dropped my fly into the cold, fast moving river and stripped line, watching my fly float naturally down the stream sliding beneath the fog gently lifted by the warmth of the early morning sun. Flicking my wrist, my fly finessed up and across the stream, I mended for a natural drift. We were shut out that morning, but I gained my favorite fishing partner on Earth. I learned unconditional love and what matters most to me. An hour I’ll never forget.

This past week I met my oldest sister after a long, hard week of work and personal strife for both of us, we met at The Rail in Rogers, AR. A beer, some shanks – skipping the small talk, we walked to the FLW event near the farmer’s market. No escaping the familiar aroma of fried crappie, a family favorite we’d shared together for over 41 years. We made our rounds to every vender, listened to blue grass, danced a bit and finally got around to the small talk. Checking out the massive rigs of boat, trailer and truck packages beaming the brand of their sponsors. At this moment, last week, I was reminded who loves me most and the fact much of this realization revolves around fishing. So, I vow today two things. Do more of what I love with whom I love most. It matters.

travel (ck backpack spain)

Charles Kochel is a fly fisherman currently exploring the natural streams of the Ozark Mountains.

Broken, but not dead

Struggling, resisting wiping the first tear escaping my soul for decades, I restrain. She’s so pure. Too real. Pain escaping like nuclear fission of the atom bomb. I am not bent, I’m broken.

Broken is broken. There is no one more than another. You can be bent to extraordinary measures of pain, but this does not change you. Once broken, things will never be put back together the same way. Everything is different.

Humbleness crushes individualism and ego. Silent senses of others like you are comforting. I’m more careful than I once was because I’m afraid. I don’t want to break again. I will, quite sure of this. Lifestyles of the chosen: roads less traveled, blazing paths, territory owned by risk and reward.

Whilst others have faith they know for sure their roadmap from God, we peek around dark corners to see what is real and what is not. Sometimes not seeing our feet, blinded by the chaos of life’s thickets and thorns. Nothing less than a fence protecting us from a jagged cliff. One of us is sure to slip and fall, breaking yet again and again.

See your sister curled in a fetal position, at the bottom, in the valley of rising water, and without thought jump. Because once you’ve been there, you already know, they need not be alone.

Listening carefully and speaking with care is priority over who’s right and who is not. Simplicity and free time are valued more than bigger and faster. Circles shrink. The world has clarity and is good. You can see the fog snaking through the canyon, more stars fall from the sky and the flowers and the children, wow, they are so delicate. The moon is more important, as are others.

regret

There is only one thing I know for sure, I know nothing at all. A great poet once said, “Life ain’t easy” only followed by another living more in the present, “Today was a good day.”

travel (ck backpack spain)Charles Kochel fly-fishes. Currently exploring the Ozark Mountains, he enjoys laughing, baseball, good food, and mindful people.

He writes, tries to pick mandolin and purchased a pair of running shoes today.

Sometimes he can be found wandering the streets and paths of Northwest Arkansas, sometimes he can’t be found at all. Carpe’ Diem, may be your only chance.

 

Wall Street’s Sharknado

The Story: If you’ve seen the movie, “The Big Short” that’s me (Brad Pitt – I wish, or maybe a hybrid of Pitt and Steve Carol.) Point is, I was at the epicenter of the collapse, feet on the ground, in Manhattan, on Wall Street – the day it all went down.

Mass chaos doesn’t do justice to describing the “Eye Wall” (pun intended) of this killer economic hurricane. It was sharknato.

sharknado

My story is rich with fear and greed, corporate corruption, big time attorneys, Wall Street, Main Street, from the highs of Heaven to the lows of Hades.

After pouring my young heart and soul into helping people, to the best of my ability, I realized the corruptness of mega-corporations. Understanding the only true purpose of a corporation, by definition is to build shareholder wealth. “At all cost” should be copied and pasted into Webster’s or Wikipedia (wait, I can do this myself.) Short term visionaries are responsible for ‘making the quarter’ and without regard to anything else, a plan is put in place to do just this. During the financial Sharknado of 2008, this left individuals, families and even the null soul of corporations devastated, it changed the people we are.

This leads me to allow anger and pain between me and the corporation. “Let it pass through.” I tell myself, it’s a mute point, null because the corporation does not care, it does not know how to feel – a corporation is an entity. It also helped me realize shrinking my circles was a good thing. The “Circle of Trust”, like Robert De Niro so eloquently described in the movie, “Meet the Parents” was immediately roped, with barbed wire, electric fences and super k-9’s named Cujo.

Some hid under their desk, whilst the storm passed and a few years later, peeked around to assess the damage. What they saw were clients crushed because half their life-saving disappeared. Retirement dreams shattered, homes up for sale, relationships severed, nervous breakdowns and even suicide was the aftermath. An economic storm that left a wake of broken people, confused, lost and knowing not, what to do next.

The Reality: Fortunately, we the people will win the war, but the toll of battles fought, between Daniel (Main Street) and Goliath (Wall Street), left our spirits broken, our minds and body tired and our bank account empty. No one ever really wins a war.

No one ever really wins a war.

The Outcome: The crucial blow, taking up to 5 years, or longer regain composure, left us alone and somewhat scared.

So, it’s time to evaluate the man in the mirror. If you don’t like what you see, make a decision to change life’s intention, from “More, Bigger, Faster” to “Leaving a legacy of positive impact, on others and the world.”

Re-organize life, a continuing process, and live simply. Create a workable plan to do more of what you love, improving quality of life, and work towards your legacy. Continue to “Fill the bucket” with dreams. Surround yourself with good people. Once this is done, there is no mountain too great to climb.

The journey starts not with having new vistas, but with having new eyes. ~Marcel Proust

 

cropped-ck-photo.jpgCharles Kochel founded Yield Wealth Management, helping people align their financial resources with what matters most to them. Yield Wealth is the first benefit corporation in Arkansas.

Charles also serves a non-profit, helping people of all ages reach their full potential. If you’d like to learn more about Yield Wealth, and how you might benefit from ‘mindful wealth management’ visit our website, http://www.yieldwealth.com.

Contact: charles@yieldwealth.com