Posted: August 14, 2007 in Stories

I finished Forty Acres and a Goat last night, and am officially depressed.

Not that it was written as a depressing book. It was really good in so many ways. Here’s the brief review from Publishers Weekly, which is right on the money:

“[A] free-flowing, allusive memoir . . . recollections are enlivened by expressive language, a blend of allegory and humor, [and] made colorful by anecdotes about important people he engaged in earthy, often confrontational dialogue, and then befriended.”


What depressed me, I guess, is that the author, Will Campbell, has become sort of a hero of mine, and I guess I hoped that the end of his story would be perfect, fading off in a Tennessee sunset, celebrating an attainment of the meaning of life.

It doesn’t end that way at all.

Friends move away. Friends die. Will Campbell wonders if the Civil Rights Movement, which dominated his life, made any real difference.

This doesn’t bode well for my future, you know? I have long held a “no regrets” philosophy of life. I want to live my life minimizing regrets. I don’t want to look back and wish I had gone about it all differently. I’ve always known there would be “some” regrets, but I intend on making the most of every day of my life and making any regrets few and far between.

But listening to Campbell, recalling his spectacular (to me) life in such beautiful language, I realize that there will be regrets. Lots of them.

So my whole philosophy of life is a pipe dream, eh?

I hope you have a great day, too.

  1. Unicorn says:

    Because I have made so many errors, done things I deeply regret, yes, even SINNED, – I try not to look back except to be sure I don’t repeat the same mistake(s).

    Denial? Maybe, but I hope not!

    Regrets? Yes, but can’t let them immobilize me.

  2. Al Sturgeon says:

    Good thoughts, and good advice.

    Of course you like Brother Will Campbell, too!!!

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