Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hard Times

Today, at the shop, a customer told me they were a better person for knowing me.  I smiled akwardly  and didn't think about it much. But now I'm thinking about it.  How can that be?  Guess I'm a real good faker.  That may not be such a good quality, because if that person really knew me, the drinker, the cusser, the lazy one, well, she just might not think she's so much better for knowing me.  Are we all like that?  We put out something, but that something isn't the who we really are.  And, who are we really?  Are we the something we put out, or the something we are when the doors are locked and the curtains are pulled? 

My days are spent greeting people, hearing their story and making an effort to meet their shopping needs.  My nights are spent wallowing in self pity accompanied by brandy and potatoe chips.  I sit with Jed and watch old movies for the nth time and play various computer games.  Nights are a rerun of the other.  Nothing creative, nothing unique, nothing much fun, just getting dark, getting tired and doing what needs to be done to say the day is over.  Food, pills, bodily functions and TV.

Steven Foster, song writer in early America, wrote a song, "Hard Times."  It's good.  "Hard times, come again no more."  It weeps.  It weeps of life well lived with pain.  "It's the sound, the sigh of the weary." 

I'm weary.  I'm weary of our regularness.  Our inability to be spontanious.  Our lack of breathing space.  I'm weary.  "We seek mirth and beauty..." 

But, but, but, but.....Perhaps it's my mother, and her amazing faith that dripped down on me, or my father's powerful grit that just wouldn't give up no matter what;  it's something that's got power, because my weariness, even though consuming, is overpowered by spark.  Spark of hope, spark of remembering, spark of love, spark of faith, spark of spunk.  And, Steven Foster's song says, "Hard times, hard times, come again no more."  I'm not sure if he's saying, "no matter what comes my way, these hard times won't get me," or if he's saying, "I've had enough, and I just won't tolerate any more hard times."  But, whatever he's saying, it speaks to me.  We've had our hard times.  We're having them still, but we see music.  Yes, we see it.  It makes us believe in a better future.  It makes us remember when we danced, it makes us sing and feel youth and wisdom at the exact same time.  We're listening to it now.  Tears are running down my cheeks because I realize my weariness is a part of every day life, but the blessings that have flowed through me are unique and only mine.

Perspective.  "Hard times, come again no more."


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