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A Music Bath

May 4, 2004

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I think it was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. who said, "Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body." I'd have to say the show was just that -- a music bath. "King O' the Road," and "Tangled In the Pines," and Chet Atkins' "Windy and Warm" -- one fine song after another.

When I say "fine" I mean "fine" like "superior in quality or skill," not "fine" like "I'm fine," meaning "well" or "ok." People where I live say that a lot. "I'm fine." Even when you know they're not. I've been guilty of it, too. It seems easier that way. If you say "I'm not fine" you might have to explain things and answer questions and sometimes you'll get a look or the other person just keeps on talking. Thing is, all those "I'm fines" can pile up, and will, and one of these days things won't be fine and you'll have a decision to make. You can lean toward the person next to you at the kitchen table and say "I'm not doing so well" or call someone you love and say "I need you right now" and tell them why. Or you can keep on going and not say a word and see what happens.

Sometime during Saturday's show, I started feeling not-so-fine. It had nothing to do with the show itself, and I remember hearing BR549 singing "My Window Faces the South" and liking it, and thinking how my window here faces north and what am I missing on the south side? That's when I coughed and felt an ache in my neck. By the time the show was over I had a fever going and felt downright awful. To make a long story short, I didn't get out of bed for thirty-some-odd hours, and that would be a Sundberg record. I was beyond the realm of "fine"; I was the sole passenger on a bus called "Misery."

I'll skip the details (suffice to say if the Atkins plan isn't working, this particular bug will do the trick.) What I will tell you is that if things aren't going so well, you really ought to say something. People will bring you water, and lovely things you'd like to eat but can't. Children will make you cards that read "You're the Best Mom in the World" and "When you're better would you make chicken for us?" Pills will appear in little piles on the nightstand. Mostly, though, you'll be left alone in bed to gaze out a window facing east at the pine trees in the wind and you'll re-gain an appreciation for things like bread, the act of getting up, and a long, cool bath.

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