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tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

September 15, 2010

to dream of happiness is in itself a grief

I’m pretty darn happy with life lately. Working a lot, getting repeat customers and lots of referrals. Everything’s word of mouth. I’m seeing the world a little bit differently too. When you work the trades you never escape the father/son role. That’s how the trades survive. Pass the knowledge from father to son. Here’s how you lay brick until a church emerges. Here’s how you bend wood to make a barrel.

Everyone else goes to college and it’s whoever can remember anything monday morning after blacking out friday and saturday. Each man for himself. No continuity. I am the missing link. I care about people even if they aren’t blood. I look at a man and I wonder, “Can I help him get to the next level?” I don’t have sons, I have bandmates. And friends.

There have been some, like Collin, who reminded me of myself so much I couldn’t handle it. How many first time father’s get dealt a cripple? Not many. 100 years ago Collin and I would have been thrown in a small bucket of water. Problem solved. Humans didn’t have thirty years to figure it out. I’m one of the first generations to be so indulged. Now that I’m almost 40, I can finally do some things right. People see me as someone who can get things done.

I can’t do it alone of course. I hire people to help. Hiring your friends can be tough, because they are your friends and don’t want to be in a father/son dysfunctional educational experience with you. They want to hang out and do some work and have some laughs.

It’s amazing how much the years change us. Collin is making his own way through the haze of youth and I’m cheering him on. I’ve gone from inexperienced muscles that didn’t know how to hold a wrench tight enough to turn a bolt to having guys come up to me at the coffee shop and ask me for work. Because I’m always working, always needing help. I’m also seeing that I need to learn to be a better mentor. To take the Dad role more seriously, to understand how much my words can hurt someone who is just starting out.

I’m not dreaming of happiness anymore. I’m dreaming about what truck to buy next. The happiness is here.

The title of the blog comes from a poem called The Lady Hou, by Emperor Yang of Sui written about 615 AD.


  1. I too would have been thrown in that same bucket. Although not obvious at birth, two weeks later the bucket would have been mine. Thankfully, we do not live in that world and we can go on and do better things. Those of us who would not have lived to be 30 in the 1800s can be role models for those living in the 2000s.

    Comment by Maegan — September 16, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  2. I was reading this blog in a molex 24 AWG pin haze and thought I was reading the Hard Times blog for a second. I thought, “What the fuck is the chicken farmer talking about? I just saw him five hours ago pissing in a Walmart parking lot. He was kicking a can with an armful of pretzels and a case of beer singing his misery out loud and here he is saying how happy he is? What did I miss?”
    Then I did a double take at the url and understood the difference a coast makes.
    If happiness is transferrable via Western Union we really need some over here. Please look into that. Have them send it to the Walmart parking lot C/O Oggy Man in the Van.

    Comment by oggy — September 16, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  3. Did I sleep with Oggy?

    Comment by poops — September 17, 2010 @ 3:17 am

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