“Good Tired” by Harry Chapin

I am learning to draw from the remarkable lessons in Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I know I still have much to learn, but I have found myself listening to Harry Chapin lately, and just now I heard this:

My grandfather was a painter. He died at age eighty-eight, he illustrated Robert Frost’s first two books of poetry, and he was looking at me and he said, “Harry, there’s two kinds of tired. There’s good tired and there’s bad tired.” He said, “Ironically enough, bad tired can be a day that you won. But you won other people’s battles; you lived other people’s days, other people’s agendas, other people’s dreams. And when it’s all over, there was very little you in there. And when you hit the hay at night, somehow you toss and turn; you don’t settle easy.

It’s that good tired, ironically enough, can be a day that you lost, but you don’t even have to tell yourself because you knew you fought your battles, you chased your dreams, you lived your days and when you hit the hay at night, you settle easy, you sleep the sleep of the just and you say ‘take me away.’” He said, “Harry, all my life I wanted to be a painter and I painted; God, I would have loved to have been more successful, but I painted and I painted and I’m good tired and they can take me away.”

— Harry Chapin