Monday, April 19, 2010

Hungry Eyes


Yesterday morning, after a long absence, my wife and I attended Sunday morning services at Wal-Mart. As always, the lighting was superb. And the parishioners, in from the streets and the quandary of their daily lives, were hushed, reverent. The merchandise, too, had a special glow, as if each item were an icon lit from within.

After looking at the bookshelves, we bought mayonnaise, and then two six-packs of begonias to plant by our front walk. On the way home, we listened to Merle Haggard sing his beautiful, heartbreaking song, “Hungry Eyes.” We both sang along, quietly, communicating in that way wives and husbands do when they’ve had the good fortune of long happiness — a happiness which, in our case, began over thirty-five years and four children ago before we were nineteen.

When you know how to do something, and you love doing it, and you know how to do it well, the best thing you can possibly do is keep doing it — in work, and in love. The money will come, or it won’t, or both. The shovel we use for ours is committed to rust, like the old farm equipment my father used and left behind. Its condition proves one thing: how easy it is to be rich and poor at the same time.



Amen.


Update:
In the Forum: a ball of grocery string.

26 comments:

rahina q.h. said...

a beautiful post from Wal-mart's feasting of the eyes to that of the soul.

Transcend Designs said...

aaahhh, nothing quite like walking down the aisle(s) Sunday morning at the Mart of Walls with our beloved other...
Nice post, love Merle too, great tune...

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Rahina, and you’re right, it is a feast.

Transcend, it’s nice to hear from you again, and I’m glad this happy-mournful interlude strikes your fancy. Merle is a frequent traveling companion of ours; his music seems perfectly suited to the road.

Janice said...

William this is priceless and beautiful. You and your wife have been married almost as long as my husband and I. We will be married 39 years the end of this month. Wonderful and sentimental post~~~

Caio Fernandes said...

i don't even want to comment this .
it is perfect !

William Michaelian said...

Janice, that’s wonderful. Let me wish you a happy anniversary ahead of time. Thanks for your kind words.

Caio, thanks — so is your comment!

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

William, how much wisdom in your words, I think it was Venicio de Moraes to say this sentence: "to live a great love must love only one woman / man"...
what you write is so true, and is the richest treasure of the world, money can not pay this deep peace and treasure of the soul
yes i think you are really a rich man

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

I don't know if it is right to say "to live a great love..." on italian is the word "vivere- to live" meaning "to have" too ...

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Laura. To me your meaning is quite clear. And I’m glad you understand mine, because that means a lot to me!

-K- said...

Really wonderful writing, effortless and rings true from beginning to end. No need to listen to Merle, it could be great but it wouldn't be as good.

William Michaelian said...

Kevin, I really appreciate that. Fact is, I told Merle I thought he could use a little publicity. He just smiled.

Wine and Words said...

I needed that today William, in more ways than you will know. Words go out...landing on shores unknown, a message in a bottle. You couldn't have known, and yet you did. Thank you.

William Michaelian said...

And I thank you... splash... and am glad.

RUDHI - Chance said...

Your post today remembers me to William as Merle does it to my country-favorite Waylon Jennings... Ya, rich and poor in ONE is - porridge *lol* You see, HUNGRY MIND you fed today, Country-William!

glnroz said...

Few can say it (or sing it),, like the "Hag".. Saw your post over at Wine and Words..

William Michaelian said...

Good joke, Rudhi!

glnroz, thanks for dropping in. That’s a nice looking ’59 Chevy on your blog. I took my driving test in a ’65. No seat belts, and the guy from the DMV filled the cab with cigarette smoke. We both felt right at home.

Anthony Duce said...

Your words made me smile today, especially about the rusty shovel. They hit the right spot. Thanks

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Anthony. I’m glad to hear it.

vazambam said...

I have to get in my two-bits' worth here in the form of a conundrum:

If rust were gold, your shovel would be worth a million but it isn't--so how come it's still worth a million?

ALeks said...

This is sooooo beautiful,and I wanted to make beautiful comment but I can not now,im broken completely,worked that hard on the balcony last few days that I can not sit straight.I love your post very much,see you later!!Xandra

William Michaelian said...

Vassilis, haven’t you heard? The price of shovels has gone way up.

Thank you, Aleksandra! You can’t sit straight, and because I did so much work outside yesterday I can’t stand straight. We make quite a pair!

Kenneth Griggs said...

Greatness

Noxalio said...

how easy indeed, William ...

incidentally, i love things
which are committed to rust ...
they tend to be photogenic!

as well the notion of "single mindedness" of this shovel
you speak of ... a realist,
i suspect ... *smiles*

i suppose
the sermon was delivered
over the PA with a touch
of reverb and echo? *smiles
again*

William Michaelian said...

Ken, thanks. Everyone can use a little encouragement, so I’ll tell Merle what you said.

Noxy, do realists smile? Oh, well. I wouldn’t know. The sermon was succinct: “Express lane, twenty items or less.” We wept.

~im just only me~ said...

Yes, I would have wept too, because of the lack of regard for "fewer".

William Michaelian said...

Ha! Yes. Very upsetting. By the way, grammar crackers are on Aisle 12.