Mark vs Cancer

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Melancholic Epiphanies

Sometimes, when life has beaten you down, a wry voice enters the mind, and in laconic prose declares an incontrovertible truth: the melancholic epiphany.
Tonight was not at all melancholic. On the contrary, after a difficult day at work, Elizabeth and the kids threw a great 32nd birthday party for me. We played games, opened gifts, wrestled, danced, laughed, and then had my perennial "Funfetti" cake: multi-colored cake, white icing, and Cookies & Cream. Mmmm . . . delicious.
And oh-so-rich. So rich that approximately thirty minutes after devouring the sweet morsel, a profound lethargy crept upon the entire family--a post-prandial, hyperglycemia-induced, glucagon-mediated stupor. We lay prostrate on the bed. The kids needed to brush their teeth, the dishes need to be done, this blog post needed to be written, but our listless bodies lacked the vitality necessary to overcome the birthday cake inertia. At this point, my lovely wife sighed, looked at me, and stated, "I guess we ate a little too much cake."

When a birthday cake takes down an entire family, when the much anticipated big-game ends in a humiliating rout, when the opportunity to express your truest self ends instead with your foot firmly inside your mouth, when your chance to display your technical prowess results in a convincing display of ineptitude that winds up in the local paper, when you're the new family in church and were asked to say the opening prayer on Sunday (but forgot) and so you arrived five minutes late to hear your name echoing through the empty foyer, when you venture to the local retail store to buy your son a much anticipated new trike as a reward for his improved behavior only to have him throw a spectacular eardrum-shattering tatrum in front of thirty of the local citizens, when your best efforts to care for a patient end in a tirade against you by a confused mother, when you loan your brother a truck that's never caused you a single problem and within three weeks it needs $1,000 worth of repairs . . . well, then, you're ripe for a melancholic epiphany. :)

If you're having trouble formulating these feelings of betrayal, humiliation and despair into coherent thoughts, then visit They will formulate your thoughts very well for you, and give you ample cause for a sardonic belly-laugh.

In all reality, life is good for us. Very, very good, in fact. I feel more at ease and healthier and more content than I can remember in a long time. I love Worland, I love my wife and kids, I love my job. But the past week has provided some potent reminders (see above) that life is a constant battle to stay between the shores of pridefulness and humiliation.

So be thou humble, or be thou humiliated.

(Hey, that's a good one . . .)

What recent melancholic epiphanies has the cement mixer of life blessed you with? Share them with the world (or at least with the five or six other people that read my blog) by commenting below.

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