Divine Laughter

Photo by Aubrey Morse (@aubstheword)

There is a god and she has a plan for each of us, a puzzle distributed at birth with one lifetime to solve it. We call it life, or reality, or love, or time, or the universe, but the name we give it doesn’t matter. Words are meaningless in the realm of gods.

It usually takes about 100 years to solve our puzzles and sometimes god lets us live that long. After we’ve logged seven or eight decades of work, she gets creative with us, laying traps to trip us up – dementia, exhaustion, hopelessness. She distracts us with the deaths of our most beloved companions and dreams. She muddies the water of our memories. She lays mines in the fields of those who are best at unraveling her riddles to be sure they are blown to pieces before they can share her secrets, and as a warning to the rest of us.

Wisdom comes with the realization that the joke is on us and the solution has always been the simplest one: to join the laughter.

A Joke

I got a little dark yesterday. School shootings can do that to a person. Today I’ll share a joke from a book I’m reading, The Evenings by Gerard Reve.

Gerard Reve, joker

        At this school they were going to take a photograph of the whole class, but the little poor boy wasn’t allowed to be in it, he looked too ragged. The teacher told him: “listen, Pete, when that picture has been taken, later they will say: that’s Wim, he’s a bank manager these days; his father was a manager before him. And that is Klaas, he’s a notary. His father was a notary too. And that is Eduard, he’s a doctor now. And that one there is Joop, he is a clergyman. So, Pete, when the photographer comes in I want you to go stand over there. Do you understand?” All right, so the little poor boy does that and the picture is taken. A few days later the photographer sends them the picture. 
“Who wants to order one?” the teacher asks. Most of the children do. Pete too. The teacher is surprised. She asks him: “Pete, what do you want a picture for? You’re not even in it.”
“I know, teacher,” he says.
“So why would you want to have one?” she asks.
“I’ll keep it,” he says. “Then later, when I’m grown up, I can say” this is Wim, he became a manager. And that’s Klaas, he’s a notary. And that is Eduard, he’s a doctor. And that’s our teacher, she started coughing up blood and died at an early age.”