Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday Morning West Coast Re-Post

I stumbled upon this blog post from a few years ago, and while the circumstances are different today (and largely unbloggable,) the post spoke to me:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Trapeze Artistry and Humor

I think it was Mark Twain who said that behind all humor is sorrow.

I believe that.

I have a good sense of humor, actually, a superb sense of humor. An old boyfriend once told me that I was the person for whom humorists wrote. I liked that comment, felt flattered by it. I guess that means that I appreciate a good humorous anything, although I admit to wanting it tinged with a bit of intelligence (I do hate those gross-out movies and slapstick was never much for me). I giggle like a girl at a couple of my friends' incessant silly jokes (they both write for television), and I don't think sorrow is behind their humor.

My sense of humor can be as dark as it gets and is often the only thing that sustains me. I would add faith in there as well, but I think it's more a faith that God provides something for me to laugh at or see the absurdity of, just when I need it.

I laugh, therefore I am.

That was a riff, I think, on Descartes, but it's Pascal that I really love. I studied Pascal as an undergraduate when I worked on an arduous double degree in English and French literature. I despised French, except for some medieval stuff and, particularly, Pascal.

If I saw no signs of a divinity, I would fix myself in denial. If I saw everywhere the marks of a Creator, I would repose peacefully in faith. But seeing too much to deny Him, and too little to assure me, I am in a pitiful state, and I would wish a hundred times that if a God sustains nature it would reveal Him without ambiguity.
pensee no. 229

And what is all this about? I watched Sophie have what seemed like hundreds of seizures today -- the small ones, the big ones, the drooling kinds, the physical jerking. Etc. I heard the voice of my Chinese doctor in my head along with all the mindfulness training advice and I tried, I really did, to remain calm and mindful, to go with the flow, to not be "attached" in that desperate sort of way. I can do these things, often in a powerful way, but I'm also aware of the thin, thin rope upon which I walk and sometimes hang like a trapeze artist, the rope that threatens to buckle then come loose, then probably snap if I let


it only takes one


and then

that's it.

I'm a wreck, instead of a balancing act.

Humor is peeled back and only sorrow shows.

Trapeze artists are in the circus, after all.


  1. "Humor is peeled back and only sorrow shows."

    So poignant.


  2. Hugs to you and Sophie...

  3. hoping that sophie does not have hundreds of seizures anymore. hoping that things are better now than they were then. xoxoox

  4. Any circus would be thrilled to have a tightrope walker/acrobat of your skills and grace.

  5. This was very beautifully written. I love the analogy of the trapeze artist. Talk about a balancing act. xo

  6. What Michelle said. I heard Carol Burnette say that humor is tragedy plus time.



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