You have to laugh....
Belvedere of the Villa Cimbrone, Ravello: also known as Terrazza dell’Infinito (Terrace of Infinity)
Ravello, high on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, was famously the haunt of Wagner, Ibsen and Grieg - none of whom were best known for their senses of humour - but something there made Amanda laugh..... And throughout out life in Italy what stands out now is her sense of delight in the world around her. Whether in Tuscany:
At Cenno, Castel del Piano, Tuscany
By the sea:
At home in Trevignano:
With a lamb:
Or with a cat (or two):
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 - 1919) obviously liked cats, too,
and celebrated laughter:
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
She is so right, of course. Solitude is so not good:
With Hannah and Sarah and my late mum and dad, Trevignano
As do friends:
With Mario and Katinka Cassola and their grandson, Giulio; Gaeta
Even the memories of those who have passed on, as memories can sustain us in these troubled times:
Though for some, memory is a luxury which cannot always now be shared:
Of course there are matters that cannot be laughed away - Ukraine/Putin/Patel/Johnson to name one..... But, and it is a big but, crying won't solve the problem. It would be crazy to laugh at everything as if the whole of history and the future of the planet were just jokes. But without some lightness, the world can become very very dark. The snowman will melt, but we had fun making him:
Somewhere in the hills near Norcia
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.
So, here's to mothers, and memories, and families and fondness. For those whose mothers have gone before, and for those whose mothers are fading. Let every day be a day for laughing, even if only to staunch the tears:
Monte Amiata, Tuscany
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox