Life for me has always been a struggle with poor health and depression, ill fortune and difficult circumstances. I have always been a “make lemonade” sort of life-gives-you-lemons problem-solver, but the more I make lemonade, the more my sorry old puss gets puckered. I am having chest pains and breathing problems again. I don’t have money for doctor’s visit co-pays and medication. My car is in the shop with more than $6,000 dollars worth of damages, hit by a passing motorist going too fast while it was parked outside my house. Insurance is probably not going to pay that much to fix a five-year-old car. My family in Iowa have recently been buried under huge snowdrifts. And the grim reaper has been knocking on my bedroom door asking if I want to play a game of chess.
But I will tag this post as humor. Because, ironically, humor is not always funny. Sometimes it has the sour puckering effect of lemonade with too little sugar in the mix. When you have worked hard all your life for very little reward, it’s hard to appreciate the tiny amounts of sugar you have been allotted. I see myself ending much the way Mother Mendocino ended, except the community will not even hear about my passing.
The more I sing songs, and rattle the boards, and try to make my puppets dance, the more arthritis crabs up my fingers and makes me ache. Sometimes happy simply comes hard. But self-pity is easy. And I am a pratfall clown most of the time. I use my injuries to make others laugh. And there is still magic to be found here and there in my art. Today’s paffoonies were all culled from my Postable Paffooney file. They are all old artworks of which I am pathetically proud.
Pathos is a part of humor too, you know. You tell a story about someone whose been on a lonely journey, and he finally gets to come home to the ones he loves, and you smile at the end of that. If you laughed at the clown for falling down, you smiled too when he got up again. After all, he wasn’t hurt. In many ways we are all made of spoof and rubber, and while the bullets don’t bounce off, we are more like Superman than we think. There is definitely wisdom buried somewhere in this pile of old quilts I am calling an essay today. I just wish I had the words to make it clearer than I do in this poor excuse for a paragraph.
My sister reads posts like this and tells me they are too depressing, that I need to write happier stuff. But don’t worry the way she does. I do spend a lot of time writing about the low spots. But I would like to point out that most of the time I am climbing out of holes. So I may start the essay in a very low place, but the direction I am going is always up.
Now I have said my 500 words for today, and while I still need bed-rest… there is no doubt the sun will come up again.