I was feeling down the other day. Down, low, depressed, for several reasons — though none of them, I am glad to say, life- or family-threatening. So there I was, in the throes of angst, of weltschmerz, of taedium vitae, of fin-de-siècle ennui (a bit late, but that’s what it felt like).
I hadn’t even the energy to drag myself up to my attic study. Slouched on the living-room sofa, I summoned up enough interest in life to reach for my laptop and open it up. I’d left my e-mail unattended-to for two or three days on account of the angst, weltschmerz, etc. I thought I’d better check it. Why not? Nothing else to do — nothing requiring less energy, anyway. There wasn’t really much point — but then, there wasn’t much point in anything, was there? Might as well kill some time doing something other than just breathe in and out, which was beginning to be a bit of a chore..
There was a big tranche — 50 or 60 – e-mails from readers. A handful were nagging, preachy, or obnoxious, but the great majority were appreciative and friendly. One just said, in lower case: “we love to read your articles. thank you.” Several expressed similar sentiments at greater length.
After 20 minutes of this, I looked up, across the living room to the glass patio door, and through that to the deck and the garden beyond (which is on the south side of my house). The sun had come out. The lawn was all dappled with light under the fruit trees my sweet wife has planted. My lovely daughter was sitting on the deck under a sun umbrella, knitting. The wind chimes were tinkling in a slight breeze. Everything was pervaded with light, love, contentment, and opportunity. What on earth had I been feeling so miserable about? I couldn’t even remember.
I’m not good about e-mail. I read it all, but don’t respond to half as much as I should. This is just a huge, heartfelt, generic THANK YOU to everyone who’s liked something I’ve written and taken the trouble to email in and say so. If there was a way to do it with web postings, I’d call my daughter in to decorate that THANK YOU with her trademark pastel flowers, birds, and smiley faces, to give it more warmth. It’ll have to do as it is, I’m afraid, but it’s from the heart.
Here’s how “Lucky Man” starts out:
I have days where I hate my job
This little town and the whole world too
Last Sunday when my Bengals lost
Lord, it put me in a bad mood
I have moments when I curse the rain
Then complain when the sun’s too hot
I look around at what everyone has
And I forget about all I’ve got
But I know I’m a lucky man
God’s given me a pretty fair hand
Got a house and a piece of land
A few dollars in a coffee can
My old truck’s still running good
My ticker’s ticking like they say it should
I got supper in the oven, a good woman’s lovin’
And one more day to be my little kid’s dad
Lord knows I’m a lucky man
When is Derb going to do what he was born to do? Be a country-music sensation?