Sunday, August 27, 2006
The Quest for Frivolity
I am, by nature, a serious guy. I do have a sense of humour, but not everyone sees it. I rarely guffaw, or roar with laughter. Instead, I smile, I smirk, I grin. Sometimes, I smile or smirk or grin to myself, and no-one will even know that I am enjoying a private joke. In fact, much of my waking life is spent pondering the cosmic order of things, and asking myself whether the cosmos itself is playing some terrible joke on us all and we, flawed creatures that we are, simply don't 'get it.'
There are many things I don't get. If you get the whys of ignorance, stupidity, violence, hate, malevolence, perhaps you might share your insights with me.
Incongruously, I see humour everywhere. If there is more than one way to 'take' a word or phrase, I will roll the most absurd interpretation around in my mind and revel in the silliness of it all. One of the funniest things I have ever experienced was in my high school German class, when we studied a book called "Doktor Murkes Gesammeltes Schweigen," by Heinrich Böll. It was about a guy named Doktor Murke who worked in a recording studio. In his spare time, he snipped the pauses between spoken sentences from audio tapes, then edited them all together in long sequences. He 'listened' to the resultant accumulated silence (gesammeltes Schweigen) while sitting in his living room at home. The premise is, of course, absurd. The action, should anyone actually behave that way, would be bizarre in the extreme.
Life is like that though. Little of life makes any real sense. We all do the best we can, muddle along, try to get along, to survive, and then ultimately serve nature by 'pushing up daisies.'
My wife commented to me a week or two ago, that we needed to do something 'frivolous.' We were so involved in all of our activities, in moving, in my venture in Panama and other business ventures, that we had, for the moment anyway, forgotten how to be silly and enjoy ourselves.
What could I do? I had to do something frivolous. I bought the 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham shown at the top of this post. It is a one owner car, has never seen a Canadian winter because the owner spent the snowy months in Florida, and is in excellent condition. At $2,000, in a private deal, it was a steal. I already have a perfectly good car, so what do I do with it?
I have no idea. Let me think about it. Maybe, while driving around in this land yacht, I will be able to think about life, about death, about why we are all here, and about why there are so many damn mosquitoes splattered all over the windshield.
Silly? Yes. But isn't that the point of it all?