The Content Shoemaker

Still caught in this busy frenzy so I haven’t had much time to post these last few day. I was going to try to write a few posts this evening, but I had to bring some work home with me, and once that was finished, I was mostly mentally drained.

I did manage to write, but only about 250 words.

Every time I think this busy spell will end, it seems only to grow. More and more, my thoughts keep returning to the life and times of the late 18th century. The life of a New England farmer, for instance. At these busy times when I spend my days at a keyboard, I yearn for the outdoors, and the simple life.

I was moved by a passage I read the other day in John Adams by David McCullough, short enough to quote here:

Long before, on his rounds of Boston as a young lawyer, Adams had often heard a man with a fine voice singing behind the door of an obscure house. One day, curious to know who “this cheerful mortal” might be, he had knocked at the door, to find a poor shoemaker with a large family living in a single room. Did he find it hard getting by, Adams had asked. “Sometimes,” the man said. Adams ordered a pair of shoes. “I had scarcely got out the door before he began to sing again like a nightingale,” Adams remembered. “Which was the greatest philosopher? Epictetus, or this shoemaker?” he would ask when telling the story.

On days like today, I envy that content shoemaker.


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