The Parish and the World of Father Walt

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September 4, 2016

Words to Live By

I have only three columns left, but this is still one of my favorites for a lot of reasons.  It's an almost annual.  A “Classic.”  So I run it again for your reading pleasure.

                             “You ain't nothin but a hound dog, cryin'  all the time.

                              They said you was high class, but that was just a lie.

                              You ain't never caught a rabbit

                              And you ain't no friend of mine.”

There may be more articulate and profound words in the history of mankind than these, but aside from the Sermon on the Mount, Keats, Frost, an occasional visit to Gettysburg, JFK's Inaugural Address and any one of three soliloquies by John Wayne as Davy Crockett in the film “The Alamo,” I can't find any.

Usually I always share some Labor Day reflection on this last holiday weekend of the summer, but driving back from a very sad visit yesterday, I popped in an Elvis CD and the words of “Hound Dog” just overwhelmed me again.  Of course I cried when he sang “Heartbreak Hotel.”  I thought about the lost love of my life.  The woman who could have been my wife.   Whoever said “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” never lost.  What an idiot.

 But ponder those words of “Hound Dog” again.  Sure, there are a few double negatives.  “Was” instead of “were,” the use of “ain't.”  But really, isn't it the essence of the message that is important?  Isn't that what the gospels are all about?  Don't the parables tell us we are inherently loveable people? You want the essential truth of who your friends are, ask them how many rabbits they've caught for you.

This Labor Day Weekend, there are only three better words I can think of that rank higher than those above and the authors I've listed.  Yep, even the Lord Jesus.  They come from my Mom, rest your soul Blanche, who when I was a kid, responded to me in words worth their weight in gold, platinum, T Bonds and grace.  They are worth more than all the material goods you hope to leave your children.  For when I asked my Mom for a bicycle, she looked at me with love, put her arms around me and said…”You want a bike...

                                                                       Get a job!”

 

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