Friday, September 30, 2011

Laughing Like A Fool

I thought today I would try to lighten things up a bit. But I am finding this is impossible for me to do. I guess this blog is destined to be full of weighty, serious, nonfunny topics. Note: I didn't write "nonhumorous" because my hope is that sometimes I'll have some humor pop up here and there. But unfortunately (or fortunately?) I just don't do funny. (I posted as my FB status the other day, just to show you that I do have a sense of humor, "Okay, I admit it. I love Will Ferrell and the movie Burlesque. What can I say. Psyche is compensatory." See how I had to add that little depth psychology lesson in at the end? It's integral to who I am and how I communicate. The post was a little humorous, though. And I try not to apologize for who I was born to be. Bad form.)

The first time I had my natal chart read by an amazingly intuitive astrological psychologist, we talked about my Trickster/Hermes energy. I told her I didn't have any. I hate to play practical jokes on people or pull April Fool's pranks on friends. Painful. I don't understand my husband's jokes, though everyone around me finds him quite funny, bordering on hilarious at times. I miss the punchlines to many jokes because I'm so literal I often don't understand word puns. Sometimes I have to ask people, with a wince in my voice, if they're joking or if they're serious. I honestly can't tell the difference at times. Which is odd, given the fact that I'm a writer and a poet. But my astrological psychologist friend assured me that, indeed, Hermes was present in my chart. She said my tendency to step outside the bounds in certain aspects of my life, - studying to be a depth psychologist, refusing to accept arbitrary status quo, insisting on going just three miles over the speed limit always, and writing poetry - were all ways the Trickster energy showed up in my life. I was relieved.

And I do love a good Will Ferrell movie -his pratfalls, his naked butt, and painfully gross jokes. Go figure. I also love funny writers. I recently added some blogs to my Blogroll (a fascinating process!). The Bloggess (her posting today was hilarious!), Jane In Her Infinite Wisdom, and my good friend's Whidbey Island Passages feed my desire for a good chuckle with life wisdom thrown in the mix (which Will Ferrell is sometimes sadly lacking. Though Stranger Than Fiction is loaded in life wisdom). But my writing and this blog, I believe, will not be one of those which people will read so they can enjoy a rip roaring belly laugh. It's just not going to happen.

I like to think that my humor is more like that of the Fool from the Tarot.

The Fool, the first card in the Tarot deck, is an old, old archetype. "Sell your cleverness. Be in a state of bewilderment," Rumi says. The Fool is intuitive, curious, stands at the cusp of ending and beginning, eternally dwells in the present, and the direction she travels is where the road leads. (She shows up here as "The Shiftless Wanderer.") The Thoth deck shows the Fool with a diamond of light coming from the top of his horned head, "the realm of the Numina," my guidebook reads.

The number assigned to the Fool is zero. Follow that thread, and we come to the enormous potency of this archetype. My ARAS Book of Symbols says that zero is the portal to the infinite, holds all the terrors of the abyss, my ability to write this on a computer and send it out into the ethernet depends on its power, and we begin our lives at the zero hour. "We live our lives as if traveling a great circle, returning to our naked beginnings, having created for a while our own small space within the infinite," (p. 708).

These are the kinds of things that can cause me to spiral into deep reflection for the rest of the day or will have me laughing at the sheer awe and terror of it. Sometimes we can't do anything but laugh at such a grand, glorious, albeit existentially painful, life.

Really, all the best humor, my old buddy Will, Jane in Her Infinite Wisdom, The Bloggess, the Three Stooges, Charlie Chaplin, Emmett Kelly, Tim Conway, Mike Starring's Passages~all are doing exactly that. Laughing in the face of the gods. And laughing with the gods.

You gotta laugh.


  1. Thank you! It's quite a compliment to find myself in the company of funny with Jenny, The Bloggess.

    I don't usually set out to be funny, it just sort of happens. Unintentional humor is, I think, sometimes the best kind.

  2. She is really wonderful, isn't she? I agree with you - if the humor is forced, it just doesn't work. I suppose this is why your blog is funny - because there's an authentic voice there.

    I left Jenny (didn't know this was her name) a comment letting her know she was mentioned - but my comment was one of several hundred. So I don't know if she'll have the time or the inclination to follow the thread. But we'll see. I think I found your blog because yours was one that she follows. Strange world, the Land of Blog.

  3. I love this page today, and it has nothing to do with my name mentioned on it. I love the photos, the expressions, and the total honesty. I agree. I feel much humor, but do not look to me for a laugh. I am not feeling it. I too love a good stupid laugh because I feel so often I need it as some of us unfortunately see the bigger picture. People who know us will know we are not depressed, but find a beauty in feeling it all. Ah, it is all life!