There’s a line in Hank Williams’s “Why Don’t You make Up Your mind,” where he says “The hide’s gettin’ scace” (pronounced “skayce”), meaning scarce. I don’t know why, but it’s stuck in my mind for years. In the song he’s moaning about difficulties with his girlfriend, but I’ve always thought of the phrase as having to do with the body getting hurt.
My latest was tearing some shoulder muscles last week. No, not again! My body feels so battered from a lifetime of activity. — sports, carpentry, adventures. Thank god I wasn’t the football star I wanted to be. Yet still — operations on both knees, right shoulder, right wrist (carpal tunnel) and the capper, a bad broken arm a year ago–all since turning 70.
OK so I’m whining here, but I’m on an up-note. After moping and gimping around for a week, dreading another operation, visiting the doc, dealing with pain, suddenly it turned a corner. Must have been the red wine in the evenings (plus big doses of Ibuprofen). But all of a sudden I could raise my arm halfway. Yeah! I’m gonna get better. Two things to convey here:
1. You always get better. Pretty much. So no matter how deeply depressed you are when injured, it’s gonna get better if you do the right stuff.
2. Don’t give up. Get right back out there on that bike, surfboard, trail, slope — maybe with more caution and care. Because you’re gonna lose it if you don’t use it.
I write this listening to Merle sing “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” in that rich resonant voice, the sun is shining after weeks of rain, the sky’s blue, I’ve had my first mota in a week, freshly-roasted coffee, and working on my upcoming tour for the new book and getting ready to take off tomorrow for Minneapolis/St Paul, thence Highway 61 to Grand Marais on Lake Superior. The glass is half-full today.
Well, Mack the Finger said to Louie the King
“I got forty red-white-and-blue shoestrings
And a thousand telephones that don’t ring
Do you know where I can get rid of these things?”
And Louie the King said, “Let me think for a minute, son”
Then he said, “Yes, I think it can be easily done
Just take everything down to Highway 61″