Wednesday, April 24, 2013


“Honesty, truth-telling fairness, was Mary's reigning virtue: she neither tried to create illusions, nor indulged in them for her own behoof, and when she was in a good mood she had humor enough in her to laugh at herself.”
"Cloud Bank Laughter",
oil, by Thaw Malin III
     -- George Eliot, Middlemarch

       Occasionally, someone seeing me from a distance when I’m alone might be surprised by the fact that I seem to be laughing. It’s not an uncommon occurrence. I often find myself almost folded over in laughter when I’m alone, and it’s usually directed at myself. I often cannot believe some of the silly, self-promoting, and completely incomprehensible things I say and so in a day’s time, and it doesn’t deserve anything but a good laugh. Looking back on a day, it’s as if I’m sitting in the audience at a comedy show, and my strange shenanigans that day make up the show.  I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m a complete catastrophe as a human being, but I do seem silly to myself when I’m pridefully prancing around like some shrewd mastermind. I know a little about the laws of good writing and how to choose chicken thighs for grilling and when to write a note in the margins of novels, but there are hundreds of thousands of things I know nothing about.  No one is less of an “authority” than I am. I suppose I’m sort of an expert at using commas correctly, but I’m a downright dimwit when it comes to correctly carving a turkey or turning a lawn into a lavish garden or giving the right gifts to my grandchildren.  This is the reason for my occasional amusement at myself when I’m alone. I just have to laugh at this well-creased senior citizen who gives off such a sense of self-assurance and astuteness, but who is truly dancing one simple (albeit spirited) step at a time.    

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