Thursday, June 07, 2007

Comedy and Change


"But resisting old age makes you old. It makes your losses serious. When you accept those losses, on the other hand, they become comic. You defeat old age by making friends with it. By letting it win. And you might as well, because it's going to anyway."

Gary Kamiya, "I'm younger than that now",

It's been a year now. The question remains - "How do I cope?". The answer is, I didn't. There are days where I am inexplicably grief-stricken for no reason. There are nights where I relive that fateful day in California where everything came crashing down, except in my dreamscape, the scenarios mutate into a literal multitude of torments.

There is one thing to be said. The grief-stricken days are far fewer now. The nightmares trouble me far less.

I bring up Mr Kamiya's excellent article because it is relevant. Old age is the avatar of what we fear most - inevitable change. What do you do when Fate drives you away from where you want to be?

Healing is not in defiance, as I once thought. It is not in acceptance, nor rage. It does not force itself into your psyche, but descends upon you as a butterfly upon a flower. It cannot be forced, cannot be accepted, merely integrated.


The comedic attitude offers a kind of resignation, a calm surrender to the inevitable. And it's regenerative because it doesn't see change as the enemy. It's an invincible, self-fulfilling belief, one that bubbles up from somewhere unseen....This may seem like a superficial way to live, all "positive thinking" and blind optimism. But it isn't. Comic laughter emerges from the darkness. It isn't naive. It coexists with tragedy, but it cannot be defeated by it. It gets, literally, the last laugh. The man of comedy has experienced the pain of life, been staggered by its strangeness. He turns his staggering into a self-mocking dance. His laughter does not deny his losses. It is built on them."

- (emphasis mine)

Spot on. Quite a few of my new friends have already noted my razor tongue and sense of humor. Older friends will note that my laughter is no longer tinged with the same cutting edge it used to have.

I laugh the way I do now knowing I
have lived through personal tragedies, I have paid the price for my dreams, and I will go on living my life. I don't celebrate my loss by displaying my scars, neither do I mourn the loss. Somehow, laughter becomes easier each day, just like how life goes on.

Endure, and eventually endurance will give. Defy, and eventually strength will go. Rage, and eventually your anger will burn out. Accept, and eventually, your pain will consume you. Surrender to it, for inevitable change is just that - inevitable.

Surrender enfolds your tragedy and transforms it. It allows you to laugh at what once made you cry, to look to the past with no bitterness, nor regret, nor nostalgia, to look to the future with no fear, anxiety, or sadness.

Time to keep on keeping on.


Tome said...

I prefer the other axiom:

"Growing Old is Inevitable, Growning Up is Optional."

“Laugh and be merry, remember, better the world with a song.
Better the world with a blow in the teeth of a wrong.”
- John Masefield

Linda Chia said...

"It allows you to laugh at what once made you cry, to look to the past with no bitterness, nor regret, nor nostalgia, to look to the future with no fear, anxiety, or sadness."

Brings to mind our sharing of griefs (yours and mine), not too long ago. I think it's reunion time soon. :)

Anthony said...


Yes, Linda. When you are free. Actually, these days, it will be whenever I am free.

BlackRX said...

You really are my role model.

Anthony said...

I'm a terrible role model.

Sprezzatura said...

Huggie wuggie. You're starting to resemble your younger old (?) self again :))))))

Anonymous said...

Wise words, Anthony. It makes feel better about what I myself am going through. Thanks.