Comedy and tragedy masks

Comedy and tragedy masks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Wikipedia, prosopon is the ancient Greek word for mask, and ancient Greece is where you’ll find the origins of this ubiquitous symbol of theater. A  lead-in for a rambling post about how we all wear masks.  Except that isn’t where I’m headed. A friend sent me this quote yesterday morning–perfect.

  “For those who feel, life is a tragedy
For those who think, life is a comedy”
(Horace Walpole, 1717)

I spend a lot of time feeling, but I prefer to think. So much is out of our control, from minor annoyances to full scale tragedies, but how we respond is our choice. What we take away from these experiences is who we are.

Sometimes when you’re in the muck laughter is out of the equation, as its been the last few days, but I’m not wailing and crying out to the heavens, either. Besides, crying is so unpleasant. I never identify when people say they feel better after a “good” cry. Really? I guess I’ve only had bad cries, because all I feel afterwards is a snotty nose, swollen eyes, a headache, and usually a heaping dose of embarrassment. Very attractive in a middle aged broad, oh yes, I see the appeal.

A newborn child crying.

A newborn child crying. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I can be moved to tears, for lack of a better cliche, by a beautiful piece of music, poetry, lyrics, stellar prose, or an especially spiritual church. That’s different.  Actually, I’m tempted to cry right now–I got up to pour a cup of coffee, and suddenly my font keeps changing, for no reason I can identify.
Laughter is better. No magical thinking, it doesn’t spray fairy dust along with spittle. It feels good, clears my mind and gives me perspective–even with my bad teeth, I look better with a residual smile than a residual sniffle.  Tears feel isolating, but a joke, a smile, a chuckle; they connect me with others. The people in my life who become friends, who are there long enough and deep enough to become part of the weave of my fringe, are those who I can laugh with. People with their own dramas and traumas who recognize the need to find the humor, black though it sometimes is;  at the same time recognizing the need to grieve what is, what was, what could have been.
I want to laugh. I like to have people in my life who make me laugh, who appreciate my oddball sense of humor–would ya believe not everyone does?
Life is a tragicomedy. It takes unexpected and sometimes unwanted turns.  Now which way do we go?
Funny Signs

Funny Signs (Photo credit: @Doug88888)



  1. With all the pain daily life can and does bring, I try hard to find the joy, the yuk-yuks, wherever I can. I also enjoy trying to give others a chuckle. I do so enjoy that odd-ball sense of humor Mrs. F. Have one myself methinks. 😉


Join the Discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.