Shut My Mouth

I’ve been trying all day to think  how people work their way back toward cheeriness when they’ve got the blues. Some drink I suppose, some gamble, some collect dolls – there’s a serious chunk of the population addicted to doll-collecting not sure you knew that – and some just lie flat down and spend hours staring at whatever’s in front of them.

I tried that last night in front of “Parenthood,” the NBC show with the lovably flawed Craig T. Nelson character and the star-crossed Lauren Graham character  getting kissed by the wrong guy all the time. (She’s pretty adorable herself; who wouldn’t want to kiss her? Except her kids, the short seething girl with too much eye makeup and the mute yet sensitive boy.)  But even this sprightly show could not  restore my joy. I was just lower than the underbelly of a snake. I lacked the energy to even click it off –  had to ask David to do it for me.  “You can’ pick up the remote now? ” he said, momentarily  distracted from his own addiction to the Stieg Larsson novels.

“I know! Put me out of my misery!”  I mewed and so he clicked it off and I turned on to my tummy and went to sleep. (And yes I know you’re not supposed to have TV in your bedroom. I know I just wrote all that about how even an alarm clock is too bright to be around when you’re even thinking about sleep. I will  only say that the day we went ahead and got one anyway  WAS ONE OF THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF MY LIFE, OK?)

And then I went to the Post Office and got this letter written by someone in response to what might have  struck her as an exceedingly optimistic column of mine. It is just so sad; it makes me feel like the proverbial man who cried because he had no shoes until he met a man who had no feet.


How to respond to a letter like this?  The poor soul just ends it here, without even a  signature. What can I possibly say to her?

4 thoughts on “Shut My Mouth

  1. T,

    You’ve done what you can other than trying to get this published in the same paper that she originally read. Her neighbors know who she is as do her absent kids, perhaps the message will get through to them and they will seek her out with a little human kindness and maybe needed forgiveness. The world does have millions of people like her but thankfully there are billions of people to take care of her. Sometimes we just need to get poked, a poke you just provided.

    Keep it up.

  2. Hmmmm. She might be a difficult lady eh?

    I know I need to write her but you are right: all Jesus did was go and sit with suffering ones and not turn away or hurry past. I say “all” but that’s a lot. That’s everything in fact!

    Writing to her could be my way of sitting with her …

    Thanks Frank. Thanks very much .

  3. Terry, This type of desolation can only be addressed by someone like yourself. As you show in that verse about the sweater, you are someone who can write so eloquently about the beauty and goodness that DOES exist in this world. “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” Say a prayer for her,…..and for us too. CJH

    1. You’re kind to say this Chris. what did I say, You are the wool, we are the sweater? A rip-off of “You are the vine, we are the branches”
      And ah that’s the Desiderata isn’t it? We are showing our age !

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