Man (and woman) does not live by bread alone. The analogy is that we need a creative outlet to counter-balance the stress of whatever else consumes us; work, daily living, and then again maybe more work, etc.
Your tonic may be to dabble in art or cook up a perfect storm or some other unmentioned productive relaxant. To paraphrase Spike Lee, we gotta have it. Cavemen mixed berry juice and blood to scribble on smooth stone walls. They knew it, they felt it, they had a certain intuition there was something more than subsisting as hunter gatherers. So should we.
Mine happens to be writing and as you’ve seen here, there’s a long way to go to even claim a loose grip on this art. But half the fun is in the trying. My friend Mort (http://www.churnhead.blogspot.com/) in ATL knows this all too well. Ghost Dance is his outlet, and he’s been pecking away at the chapters for a while now. There’s even creativity to be found in my parent’s predicament; i.e. reportage and accurate recounting of events for Ellen and Reid, the sharing of emotions and tears, and creation of some lasting memory that perhaps the kids will set aside for later years.
Point being that a dose of creativity never hurt anyone. No matter how downhill my day has gone or how miserable the confluence of events might be, there is always the creative element to look forward to. Sure, the result may be far, far removed from high art, but it’s the doing that counts.
Thankfully, there is another Friday that allows me to write to my ailing parents. Here is today’s letter that’s fresh in the mail.
June 19, 2010
Mom & Dad: Summer officially has landed with a damp thud and it feels like the proverbial 800 lb. gorilla that will sit anywhere it damn well wants to. Hot (90s) and humid (off the charts) and in general miserably uncomfortable. My tomato seems to like it and although the varietal may be a Better Boy, the fruits are like Small Boys. Just don’t seem to get real big. But it’s a far cry from last year when I harvested one – 1 – that was the size of a golf ball.
Ralph called me yesterday before they took off for California to see the grandkids. He was just checking in. We haven’t talked since which is the first time in a long time that even a few hours has passed without us touching base on things.
Ellen and Reid are doing fine. Just think, one year ago tomorrow you guys were in Des Moines for Ellen’s wedding. It’s just hard to believe that amount of time has passed. She got a bit of good news this week: she has an interview early next week with a school where she might teach Hmong children to read. She’s excited and my fingers are already crossed for her. Really hope she gets it. Reid got some really good news in that his ad agency has named him the lead for the Hampton Inn account plus some other beefy work. So his worries about leaving the agency are somewhat abated although the Hampton work will dissipate later this year when the account bolts to another shop. It’s the way of the ad world but it is a ray of bright news for your grandson. He’s really excited.
Dad, I came across a stack of photos from years ago in the bottom drawer of the bureau in the spare bedroom with the twin beds. I have demanded your other son trot those out to you for identification. Looks like your dad and Mary, plus other people I don’t know. There’s also a great shot of you and Hank in front of what must be the boarding house where you guys lived in Lincoln. It was great fun to rummage through that stuff before leaving town.
The staff there have been pretty good about keeping us up to speed on things. The Hospice lady has called a couple of times and she seems to think you are holding your own, which we take as good news. You sound better on the phone. This deal about getting mom to the dentist is a little disconcerting because they said they would transport her – and you – to any appointments you need. We’ll get it worked out. I’m glad you two get to spend some time together even though in the best of worlds it’s not the ideal any of us would hope for. I suppose some time together is better than none.
Tiger is showing his stripes at the U.S. Open. He was bitching opening about the bad greens, and that would seem to be far below his station to whine about things. The TV commentators are riding him like a rented mule, as they should. The bum.