Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | November 9, 2008

Wisdom and Laughter from Elder Paisos

Wisdom and laughter often go together because they quickly unravel our pretenses. This seems the best sort. It may not change us as the combination often comes together in an instant, and unexpectedly… so without preparation. But like putting a bag of ice cubes out in the hot sun… it helps break things back into the bite-size pieces we can work on. Wisdom and tears by contrast seem to come together either as the result of deeper, more noticeable changes because they’re hard won, or maybe just the result of more studied reflection… and these seem to change us quite a bit more.

There is much more one could offer here, but my point was not to reflect so much… as to share one insight that made me laugh. This one is from “Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain”, where he says:

“You should struggle while you are young, because when you get older you can do nothing; older people get annoyed even at the draft coming through a keyhole.”

It’s a great image: an old guy sitting in a corner as far away from the door as possible. And the first thing he says when you enter is, “Oh good… did you bring tape to cover up the key hole?” I don’t know… just seems like real life to me. Maybe you’d have to be there.

Anyway… perhaps it spoke to me ’cause once upon a time… not so long ago in fact, my kids taped two words to our bedroom door: I think one word said “Ornery” and the other… if I’m not mistaken said “Mules”. They found them in the newspaper. These are good words. I am glad they were not lost with the recycling… which clearly they so easily might have been. They rarely appear in the newspaper as well… which makes them all the more special. I know should I ever need to use these words… just where it is I can find them.  They’re treasures. And I guess our door is as good a storage place for words of this sort as any other. Feel free to drop by if you can use one or both. Now… surely you’re not thinking these words were.. well… descriptive some how… ’cause it never would have occurred to me. I mean… I think these word silos are everywhere. Right?


  1. Uh oh…I think I qualify as “older” because I have said something similar to Elder Paisios! YIKES!

    And yes, I’ll borrow the “onerey”. I have a special person who could use it! LOL!

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