Who are these silent strangers waiting for me to know who they are?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Singing in the Rain

"I have never been much cheered by the "stencilled smile", the false front, the pretending that there was no pain when pain was there, that there was no trouble when trouble stalked, that there was no death when Death laid his cold hand upon one dearer to us than life; but I have been tremendously cheered by the brave front; the imagination that could travel past the trouble and see that there were still joys in the world." From the Book Singing in the Rain (1926) I came across this while researching. I've seen this stencilled smile on too many faces and been horrified to discover it on my own at times. I have just spent a very interesting weekend at a friend's house attending a sweat lodge. These friends and another couple are being hit hard by the economy. One couple has just lost their home and therefore their business. They have a scant 2 weeks to move out of the house they built with their own hands and sell everything in it and their barns. Thousands of dollars in equipment going for mere hundreds. They have no choice. There are no jobs to be had anywhere in the area and they are moving to another state where they are assured employment. The business lost was construction, wood working, building, remodeling. The job gained is on the oil rigs in Texas. These men are in their sixties and this is a hard life. Yet, they had the imagination to see the joys that are still in the world. I came away humbled and amazed at the attitudes and strength of character I witnessed. In between the "garage sale"and watching a $700 saw go for $50, the four small grandchildren they are raising all being ill with the flu, and packing up everything they own, they still found time and energy to make an incredible all day roast, participate in the sweat lodge and continue to volunteer at the Food Pantry. Amazingly their Food Pantry serves 167 families a day! Did I mention there is no work anywhere in the area? K is suddenly realizing the drawbacks to WV. He is actually contemplating TX. What will we do! Ah well, a very good experience this weekend and a feeling of loss. I just met these people and they are already gone.

1 comment:

  1. Texas. Not.

    It's always interesting to gain perspective like that you found over the weekend, especially when you weren't looking for it, huh?