THEREIN LIE CONTENT

Since I am just recently back from a vacation situation in which there was a professional song leader and gamester who tried to get me to “participate” and to enjoy just lots of “togetherness,” I am unhappily reminded afresh of all the people who have tried so hard to entertain me or, even worse, to get me to entertain myself. I don’t blame these leaders of fun, mind you. I just report that they never lead me into much fun.

I used to tease my youngsters. After breakfast, say on a bright Saturday morning, I would say to them, “Where are you going?,” and they would say, “Out to play.” And I would say, “Play what?” “Well, just play,” they would say, which is exactly what they did. If you have play in you, it shouldn’t be very hard to go out to play. Something is bound to turn up; but if you don’t have play in you, someone else can’t put it into you. Out of the heart are the issues of life, and a merry heart does good like a medicine.

A recent writer has suggested that we do our own brand of whistling in the dark these days by “inventing imperatives.” We tell each other brave things like “don’t worry.” As far as I can tell I have never worried on purpose; but, on the other hand, I have never been able to quit worrying by telling myself that I just won’t worry. My worries arise from deeps some of which I can’t analyze. Then they tell me that a great many things would be different if I would “just start the day happily.” Or maybe “have sunshine in your heart.” I am tempted to a loud guffaw over such advice. Not having the good things in me I try to produce them synthetically, and it never quite comes off. When people tell me to count to ten before I lose my temper, they don’t seem to understand me. If I have really ...

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