The Comedy of Life

There’s been a lot of bad news out there lately. An awful, overwhelming, immobilizing lot of it. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the magnitude of the crisis in the Horn of Africa, of what it means for us to execute a death row inmate within reasonable doubt, of suicide bombings, of constant economic downturn and my “lost” generation, of whether or not my small donations to this and that make a real difference…

I don’t know what I was expecting when I tuned in to this NPR interview with Maurice Sendak today, but his words on “the fragility of life, the irrationality of life,” and “the comedy” of it really struck a chord with me. It’s a comedy I’ll never understand, but one I also hope I never stop finding things to laugh about. It seems to me that the only way we can really make sense of the bad news is to celebrate the good; to treasure the small victories and the everyday wonders, and to remember our humanity.

Mr. Sendak summed it up in a few moving sentences that just about brought me to tears:

There’s something I’m finding out as I’m aging: that I am in love with the world. As I look right now, as we speak together, out my window in my studio, and I see my trees, my beautiful, beautiful maples that are hundreds of years old…I can see how beautiful they are, I can take time to see how beautiful they are. It is a blessing to get old. It is a blessing to find the time to do the things, to read the books, to listen to the music…Oh god, there are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die!

I hope you get a few minutes to listen to the interview, and that it lifts you up a little as it did me. I also sincerely hope you stumble upon some good news this week!

*click images for full view//kodak 200//canon eos rebel k2 +50mm lens

11 responses to “The Comedy of Life

  1. Amazing post allison! really made me think and something nice to read after a hard day of work :)

  2. This is amazing, both the words and the pictures you’ve chosen. I had moments like the ones you’re describing some months ago (february-march), and I think that it’s possible to find comfort in the simple, small things :)

  3. (Good) sigh, the fragility in his voice nearly made me well up a few times. He sounds like the sweetest person too, my heart ached whenever he mentions having to live to see his friends passing on :(

  4. Loved this, Allison!!! Loved this post to the point where I got out of my comfort of Google Reader to click on your link and comment. :-)

    I can relate to both yours and Sendak’s feelings towards finding beauty in simplicity. I often try to capture that in photographs as well.

    On a related feel-good feeling, last night, I watched the documentary Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement and had hope about life again! If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend it. The love that these two women have for each other is endearing and is beautifully captured.

    Miss you!

    • Thank you so much Anna! It means a lot to me that you took a minute to comment, and it’s so nice to hear from you! I’ll definitely have to look up that documentary, it sounds like something I’d like very much :)

      Miss you too!

  5. This is a great post. As I’m sitting here madly reading for school, I realize I need to take the time to listen to things like that or just… enjoy the little moments that are beautiful and not stress so much.

  6. I’m a little behind, but I love this series of pictures, as well as the quote. Reminds me to slow down and appreciate what is around me. It’s a good perspective in the midst of concerning over the pain, suffering, and brokenness in this world. I definitely have a love-hate with the world, but need to start focusing more on the love. I saved the link to the NPR interview so I can listen to it tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hi Allison! I just listened to the Sendak interview and it almost brought tears to my eyes, too- how sweet, tragic, moving, and I want to share it with others- Thanks for sharing it here!

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