Visitors - Come on in and say hello!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Humor of Flannery O'Connor

Finally, I've had the time and found Flannery O'Connor's "Habit of Being" on the shelf of my local library. My only regret is that I don't own this book. I've half a mind to mark it up just so I can bring it back to the library and explain I've "defaced" it therefore need to purchase it.

It is truly difficult not to get out a highlighter as I go through it, and mark the pages with little stickers. Certainly the stickers can be removed, but really...once placed, why would one EVER remove them? Really?

Alas, this is something I must offer up, as we were taught by our mothers, and alas, I will have to bring this delightful tome back to the library and there relinquish it, unmarked.

Such a tragedy!

I have a sense that dear Flannery would understand.  For a glimpse into her mind and her humor, I will present a snapshot below. Know that she suffered not only from lupus, but other conditions and happened, in this particular time, to be on crutches because of a deterioration of her hip (not related to lupus). Her life still demanded that she travel to some degree and so she worked within her disability and as you can see, found the humor available to her through her very own suffering, but never without her sharp wit and take on the humanity around her:

I have decided I must be a pretty pathetic sight with these crutches. I was in Atlanta the other day in Davison's. An old lady got on the elevator behind me and as soon as I turned around she fixed me with a moist gleaming eye and said in a loud voice, "Bless you, darling!" I felt exactly like the Misfit and I gave her a weakly lethal look, whereupon greatly encouraged, she grabbed my arm and whispered (very loud) in my ear. "Remember what they said to John at the gate, darling!" It was not my floor but I got off and I suppose the old lady was astounded at how quick I could get away on crutches. I have a one-legged friend and I asked her what they said to John at the gate. She said she reckoned they said, "The lame shall enter first." This may be because the lame will be able to knock everybody else aside with their crutches.


I think that old lady attends my parish. Or maybe her grand-daughter  might be the same one who, mistaking me for the mother of several active children, directed me to "have lots more!".

In any case, I love Flannery's take. A woman after my own heart!


*    *   *   

No comments: