Last night, in leaving a Kendall Square restaurant at 10:50 pm, I entered a neighborhood on the brink of terror. This morning, I woke up to a city in the grip of it.
Throughout the morning, and the day, we were deeply connected to the news cycles: the slow cycle of the press briefings, the rapid, unreliable churn of social media, and the even more unreliable reporting of some major news outlets. After hours with multiple screens in front of us, a flurry of texts and calls, a cancelled trip to NYC, and multiple moments of concern — recognizing places close to our offices, close to our friends, all of it too close — there seemed to be no end. I had to unplug. And so I turned to the most relaxing thing I know: fly tying.
With the radio on upstairs, I listened for periodic updates, but I mostly tuned out and focused on the flies. I find the repetitive nature of tying to be calming, almost meditative. The objects that I created — many of them based on Rich Murphy’s excellent saltwater patterns — were beautiful. The process brought to mind calm scenes: standing in the ocean surf, wading a deep river, or casting for rising trout. It was, for the time I was doing it today, the only refuge I could find.
I shared a few of the below photos with fellow fly tiers today. A few friends across Boston joined me in tying. We shared photos throughout the day of our progress. And we commiserated about the problems facing us. It seems like I was not the only one seeking calm in this crisis.
We all wish for a quick and safe resolution to this ongoing crisis, without further bloodshed of innocent lives. In the meantime, I’ll be in the basement, tying some flies. It feels like the safest place in town.