Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Alchemist's Tool

It's funny, what's funny, years later.

Last night, walking back home, I found myself telling Ruby a story from my high school years. It was a story about a moment of acute embarrassment that happened because I did something in a desperate attempt to fit in with the other boys. I wasn't telling the story with the intent to educate or illuminate any point. I was telling the story because it really fit with the moment and with the conversation.

I'm not going to relate that story here, it needs a context to be understood as funny. I never thought that I'd tell that story, ever. And I never thought I'd tell it and laugh. But I did. I told it. When I got to the end of the story - the punch line. Ruby burst out laughing. So did Joe. And oddly, so did I. It got funnier and funnier as we walked and our laughter filled the air around us. Passersby smiled wondering what on earth had been said or what on earth had happened.

I need to remind myself, on occasion, of the Carol Burnett quote: Comedy is tragedy plus time.

Time isn't just a healer.

Time is an alchemist. And humour is it's tool.

After I got in bed last night, I thought about that moment, in high school, where I wished I was dead. Where I had embarrassed myself - no one had done it to me. I'm betting that none of the people who were there at the time remember it at all. The thing that I thought was so big and so vast and so devastating became what I never thought it could. Nearly forgotten.

And miraculously, really funny.

5 comments:

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

You survived - that's what makes it funny and not tragic in retrospect.

And you know now that everyone has awkward moments in the past, even the football team captain.

Perspective comes with time, and the experience of having other things go really well. Glad you could share an old painful moment - and turn it into a present healing laugh. You don't need to carry those around any more.

clairesmum said...

Being able to see or find the humor in something does reframe it and can help to heal past wounds. Glad that sharing the story with people who love you transformed it!

Anonymous said...

Your School says High back.

Sorry to hear you embarrassed yourself, and glad to hear you can laugh it off. Funny.

Ron Arnold said...

There is nothing so permanent as our past, yet nothing so changeable as how we view it.

Belinda Burston said...

That is so wonderful and I love Ron Arnold's comment too. So true!