HUMAN OF THE PFISTER (HOTP)
AUGUST 2016 EDITION
august = Latin augustus “venerable, majestic, magnificent, noble,”
probably originally meaning “consecrated favorably by the augurs,”
who were the religious officials in ancient Rome who foretold events by interpreting omens.
I felt the most august when I had my first kid in 1990. I was 26 and I had felt like I had no responsibility. But when I got a little stranger with no instructions and held him in my hands, that made me feel noble and august. Then I had three more–and it all went down the hole from there! (I’m just kidding!)
And speaking of augury, I acted on a whim when I bought a big block of land in Sri Lanka because it “seemed the right thing to do.” I met my wife there–she’s from Victoria, British Columbia–and we were there for about six months, then we went back three years later and said, “We like this land from here to here, and from here to here.” So I went to the bank to get the money, and I remember having to carry this huge bag between my knees, transport it on a three-wheeler, then deliver it to pay for the land. I wasn’t expecting there to be so many bills, but the stacks were about this wide and this high [about 2-feet square]. It was 70 million rupees. We didn’t have much money back then; it was practically everything we had. But it’s our family home now.
I feel the most august when I catch a fish. My girlfriend and I will fish up north–a lot of walleye–sometimes in Manitowish Waters or other places like that; we’ll also fish down here by the Summerfest grounds, which is cool, but it’s different from up north. I like being able to zone out and watch the water and nature. I like the waiting. It’s kind of therapeutic–you know, some people say it’s therapeutic to sew or run or whatever–and once you catch something, that therapy washes away and you’re in the moment and every second counts, even if you miss the hit. It makes you feel like you’re capable. Even if you throw it back, release it, you know that you could do it if you had to, if you really needed to rely on fishing for your food. It’s therapy leading into euphoria leading into security. That’s augustness for me.