♫♪♫ The times, they are a changin'. ♫♪♫
As my friend Seumas Gallacher so eloquently put it in his blog post today,
... the highs and lows in any walk of life are a matter of fact… zoning in on Writers/Authors/Quill-Scrapers in general, prob’ly more so… the joy, blood, sweat and tears of producing the masterpiece… the angst of waiting to see how it fares in the Big Bad World of Publishing... the despair when even one bad review gets registered… the ecstasy when it’s praised by sumb’dy ye don’t even know… there’s the ultimate in roller-coasting emotions…
A Taoist Perspective
Looked at from a Taoist perspective, events in our lives rise and fall. In an earlier post I recounted the story of the Taoist farmer. If life is an river, we can learn to float, which doesn’t mean living a superficial life, but rather being adaptable and accepting, even enjoying, each variation. Huck Finn is an exemplary Taoist!!
It's easy to feel alone when we're in a trough.
Here are Seumas' words on the mingling of laughter and pathos.
… years ago, an English comic genius, Norman Wisdom, had a signature song, ‘Don’t Laugh at Me, ‘Coz I’m a Fool’… the switch from the laughter to the pathos evoked with the song made it all the more poignant for me, and it still does… looking back over the decades, I’m struck by how strongly the chord still resonates with me… the humanity, and the humility, all wrapped into a few minutes of music from a man who made millions laugh for his living… the life lesson is there for all to learn… (my word, Mabel, this sounds serious, eh?)… no matter how any of us is generally perceived by our fellows, there’s usually at least more than one facet to our individual personalities…
And my response...
Pondering these words about perception and personality (uh oh, danger, thinking!), the metaphor that comes to mind is the ocean. Aspects of who we are rise and fall like waves, but the reality is more vast and complex than even we can perceive. Others mostly see only a peak here and there.
Seumas wouldn't be Seumas if he didn't have an uplifting conclusion.
... hark back to yer man, the incomparable Norman Wisdom… his technique encapsulated the ability to laugh at himself… and THERE’S the lesson… I suggest we should correctly take our work, our profession, our craft seriously, but never, ever take OURSELVES too seriously… humour is a wonderful release from all sorts of daily stresses.. and MY easiest target for it?… Master Gallacher himself... oh, and you can laugh at me too, if yeez want
Humor = Laughter = Joy!
Not taking ourselves too seriously. Laughing a lot. Realizing that today's mountain is tomorrow's molehill. This is the simple formula for navigating the ups and downs, for floating on the river, for adapting to the world's rising energy with glee rather than despair.
Introducing Norman Wisdom
... click on here to hear the maestro :
Thank you to Seumas Gallacher for his kind permission to interweave his post and my reaction! I hope you've enjoyed our shared thoughts. How do you navigate the ups and downs of life? Are you feeling like 2013 is a roller coaster of a year? Where do you find everyday joy? Please join the conversation in the comments.