We used to call them the funnies, and I have a memory of sitting on my dad’s big lap while he folded the newspaper in half, then quarters, so he could read them to me. This would have been on a Sunday, because I remember the strips as being full-color. I still read the daily comics, even though most of them are terrible – tired, unfunny, boring, and retreading the same exact ground for decades on end. Once in a while a strip comes along that’s electrifyingly good –Calvin & Hobbes, Boondocks, Cul de Sac–but they don’t last long, usually because their creators have the courage to cancel them when they’ve run out of steam. So I read out of habit, with no expectation of transcendence. But every once in a while one of them pierces my heart, like today’s Pearls Before Swine, by Stephan Pastis.
Tree Stump o’ Deep Thought You’re Not Usually Capable Of, by Stephan Pastis
No one knows what we’re doing here.
Some have faith that they do, but no one knows.
So we are scared.
We are alone.
And we don’t know where we go.
So we cling to money for comfort.
And we chase awards for immortality.
And we hide in the routine of our days.
But then the night.
Always the night.
Which, when it has you alone, whispers that
maybe none of this has any significance.
So love everyone you’re with.
Because comforting each other
on this journey we neither asked for
is the best we can do.
And laugh as much as you can.