Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tragedy and Comedy

Life can be so funny you want to cry, and so tragic that all you can do is laugh.

I often find myself wondering about the hidden forces at work behind the circumstances of our lives, and wishing I could understand so much more.

I find a kind of exhilaration in pathos. It's embarrassing, but true. Similarly in great joy, there is often a fragility, a feeling of false happiness.

And so it is, that we find ourselves fascinated by the ups and downs of imaginary as well as real people. So much so that we go to the movies, read tabloids, and watch with interest the goings on of the neighbors. Sometimes life is so deep, we reduce it to a performance, and ourselves the audience rather than the participants. While reviewing Shakespeare's Hamlet, and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest for the class I am teaching, I am delightfully entertained.

The detachment this produces is an insulator for extreme emotion, which we often feel ill-equipped to receive.

Stranger still, most of us will pay hard-earned money to ride a roller coaster when life offers us ups and downs that would rival anything Hollywood could muster.

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