“He was so flawed. But his fishing tackle was sublime.”
“The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams” is a memoir written by Nasdijj, a Native American man eventually discovered to be a fraud, describing his experiences living in harsh conditions with a son diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. Although the sentence is a simple statement contrasting the son, Tommy Nothing Fancy, with his fishing tackle, it conveys a sense of both despair and revelation. Nasdijj introduces Tommy to fishing as an outlet where he can act himself and enjoy the time away from the harsh Native American lifestyle. Fishing becomes the one reliable thing in Tommy’s world of constant struggles with seizures and uncertainty that will always be a source of light and beauty. Describing fishing tackle as “sublime” may at first sound questionable; however, when considering Tommy’s diagnosis and his unfortunate circumstances, the fishing tackle may be interpreted as one of the few “perfect imperfections” that highlight the beauty of life. One of the underlying themes of the story may be the idea that despite the unfortunate circumstances of one’s life, there is always something, even if to a small degree, that will bring joy to someone. Fishing will always be a part of Tommy; he not only grows up fishing but also dies while on the boat with his father. The simplicity of the statement almost correlates to the notion that sometime the most ordinary things in life bring people the greatest joy.