Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Clamming, teaching, and flow

Got a mess of clams from the flats today while feeding a few green head flies. Seems a reasonable trade-off.

I've been borrowing my nephew's clam rake--mine needs a quick fillet weld to tighten a pair of rogue tines--and I've been fighting the new rake. It's blades are both sharper and thinner, but the handle much less sturdy. The rake weighs about half what my rake weighs.

I keep worrying that the handle will snap as I drag the tines through the muck, yet I still pushed down on the handle until near its breaking point.

After paddling out to the flat this morning and getting just a few clams after a lot of work, my back tightened. Not good any time, even less good when you're out alone.I figured I may as well get whatever clams I could anyway, and worry about the trip back once I loaded my bucket, but I had to change the way I worked.

Instead of fighting the rake, I let the rake glide over the flat, not because of some newfound wisdom, but because of  cranky erector spinae muscles. *clink*! A clam.

*clink* another and
*clink* another and
*clink* *clink* *clink*

Teaching is a lot like clamming (or skating or writing or anything that needs flow)--when you try too hard to dig for what matters, you're going to get weary in a hurry with just a few morsels of reward.

I forget this regularly.

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