Fly Fishing With The Damned Analysis

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The environments that we inhabit affect us in ways that are often ignored. Envision standing high in the mountains with a crisp breeze whispering across your face. Now envision a bustling city, skyscrapers replacing the mountains, as you catch your face reflected in the store windows. Both environments possess a distinct essence of beauty, and yet the beauty is not felt in the same way. Throughout Chris Hoke’s collection of essays titled, WANTED, he considers the impact that any particular environment can have in the lives of inmates and ex-cons. Hoke’s ministry encourages the men to realize the situations they have existed in thus far, and to find a new environment that can become a sacred space of restoration. Although the concept of sacred spaces and the impact they have upon a person’s…show more content…
However, Hoke wanted to transfer this concept of sacred space to touch multiple lives. An opportunity arose when Hoke needed a way to stay in contact with the men that no longer received his full attention. In “Fly Fishing with the Damned” Hoke begins fly-fishing with ex-gang members. To his surprise, the excursions along the Skagit River become so popular that whole families began to follow their pilgrimage into the wild. He even takes two men, Juan and Teddy to a fly-fishing class – transplanting their gang loyalties to a passion for nature: a new sacred space. Although they hit some bumps along the way that could have destroyed their new ecosystem, fly-fishing was there to stay. (Fly 134-152). Hoke witnessed something amazing: “Cloaked in different colors, algae green waders worn over the usual colored gang clothes, I watched these boys at peace in a greater wilderness” (Fly 152). Men so accustomed to violence and pain suddenly found themselves awash in the stark beauty of God’s creation; hearts turned hot with rage by a lifetime of ache, found relief in the cool wash of the river over their troubled
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