“But what was interesting about this essay,” Slattery says. “Near the end of his life, Graves met a Sufi Mystic, who told him about another goddess, a black goddess. Mother Night, the Greeks called her. This black goddess exists beyond the White. Instead of desire and destruction, she represented wisdom and love – not romantic love, but real love, as you might say, reciprocating, enduring love. Of those who devoted their lives to the White Goddess, and this endless cycle of ravagement and restoration, a very few, if they managed to survive it, would eventually pass through her to the black goddess.”
“Good for them,” Howard says. “And what about everybody else? All the mugs who don’t manage to transcend or whatever?”
Slattery’s face crumples to a smile. “Graves said the best thing to do was to develope a strong sense of humour.”
“A sense of humour.” Howard repeats.
“Life makes fools of us sooner or later. But keep your sense of humour and you’ll at least be able to take your humiliations with some measure of grace…..”
A sense of humour, he thinks. A sense of humour. If only someone had told him before.
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.
I don’t know why I keep quoting from this book. Maybe it’s because it is the literary equivalent of a fireworks display. The passages are so extravagant, so explosively blinding, it hits you like BANG! BANG! BOOM! and then immediately after, it becomes difficult to remember what it was. And I don’t want to forget anything. ANYTHING.
I mean how heartbroken did the writer have to be, to realize humour (what was once the poison of the wise) for what it is (an opium for those left behind)… I don’t know…
Sadness is a blessing. Humour is merely a consequence.