One of my favorite movies is "A River Runs Through It." It is a quiet, slow-paced coming of age story about two brothers growing up in early 20th century Montana. The father, a Presbyterian minister, and his two sons are avid fly fishermen. The movie "hooked" me (pardon the pun) in the first scene, where an elderly man is fishing and the narrator (Robert Redford) speaks, "I am haunted by waters." His words are pure poetry. Naturally, I bought the book written by Norman Maclean, who wrote the stories based on his life. I have never been to Montana, nor have I been fly-fishing, but the story of Norman and his brother, Paul, is as ancient as the story of the prodigal son. The brothers are as different as night and day; Norman is the responsible, bookish elder son, and Paul is the unpredictable younger brother who walks on the wild side of life. But the two things the brothers have in common is the love for fly fishing and their genuine affection for one another.
In one of the last scenes, Norman's father is giving a sermon about how hard it is to understood the ones we love. "It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us." He was surely thinking of his son, Paul, who was murdered.
From the book,
"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."