Down and Blue

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.

My Jester

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.

Cool School Blue

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.


Filed under Depression, healing, health, humor, Paffooney, philosophy, Uncategorized

10 responses to “Down and Blue

  1. Sorry about the troubles and car woes. With all that is going on, you did not need to get hit. Best wishes on continued writing. It is therapeutic to many more than its author.

  2. Sorry to read about the problems. Sending you a special hug. Take good care.

  3. Michael–good to see these words, my friend. It’s good to keep in mind that the sun does always rise again. Your words and your pictures are always a delight to me.

  4. Thank you for writing honestly. It helps me and probably many more than you would realize to see that we aren’t alone in our struggles, and that to be human involves some inevitable suffering. I like how you’ve made lemonade, even if there isn’t as much sugar as you’d like. And your drawings are wonderfully cheery, colorful, lovely things that I’m always glad to see. I’ve been in a low spot too…and even though our precise troubles are dissimilar, the feelings they evoke are the same. I think that between the two of us and all the writing and drawing implements and yarn and fabric and other miscellany we have, we’ll be able to rig up a ladder and climb out of the hole together. Someone is bound to be up there willing to catch the thing and anchor it somewhere for us. Big hugs to you. Your darkness sheds great light.

    • Thank you for the rope ladders of metaphorical salvation. Life is definitely more of a roller-coaster ride than we were born prepared for, but the thrills you have had along the way are worth it when you finally have to get off the ride.

  5. Hi,

    Your post really touched me today. It was just what I needed. I am sorry to hear about your troubles, but I am so glad that writing helps you.

    Please know that your writing helps others too! Thank you.


    • I am glad that my writing is good for something besides filling my writing files with piles of words. It helps a lot too to hear that people are responding positively to my attempts to turn negatives into positives. Thank you for the encouragement.

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