?

Log in

entries friends calendar profile AT: Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn Previous Previous Next Next
A smile, like sleep, is a natural sacrament - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
A smile, like sleep, is a natural sacrament

 

This is a time for smiles, the outward and visible sign of interior joys, and joy is the secret, tender heart of this season. Even if – as when we toasted absent friends this year at the club – we smile through tears, let us smile. Even if we cannot quite mean it. Particularly if we cannot quite mean it: for to smile when we cannot mean it leads us soon or late to mean it in earnest.

I am, God He knoweth, a natural Eeyore, a Marshwiggle born, and I don’t feel that any condemnation or failing. And yet I am a firm advocate of the smile. Oh, not as the small change of social-cum-commercial intercourse: I leave that to Americans, bless their cotton socks. Smiles, however, matter.

I have been privileged to know some wondrous smiles. The Reverend Al Green has a truly infectious smile – as does BB King, although Koko Taylor, when she smiled, had them both beat (as did Menuhin. Previn’s smile has never seemed fully felt, and I don’t think I ever saw Bill Monroe or Casals smile); Milton Friedman’s smile was even more powerful than his arguments; Ronald Reagan’s smile lit continents. (Political smiles are an interesting topic, although hardly apt to the season: Sir John Major’s was not convincing in Downing Street, but is pure and real in the Long Rooms at Lord’s; Eric Pickles’ smile is as real as anything that exists in this sublunary sphere; I have never seen the smiles of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, or Mr Obama actually reach to their eyes; Lord Carey and the last three bishops of Rome have had smiles that embraced one; when Lord Mandelson actually smiles, it’s lovely; and Hitch and Peter Tatchell are joint first in the boyish ‘Little Mischief’ category.)

We’ve all seen smiles to treasure, and to model ourselves upon. Smile with the innocent joy and wondering triumph, the sudden vindication, of Monty Panesar after he got Sachin Tendulkar lbw; smile like Cooky fielding, Broady bowling, and Jimmy Anderson taking a wicket. Smile the way the American general Jim Gavin smiled when he recalled Operation Market Garden; grin with the sheer joy he always shone with when he recalled his role in integrating the American forces. Smile like Winston in the satisfaction of duty done. Laugh at yourself and the absurdities of life and bring sunshine in the way in which Eric and Ernie did. Smile like Johnners and laugh like Aggers, or contrariwise. Smile privately at pretension as HMQ does; smile for the joy of it as the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother did.

It’s Christmas. Smile and you’ll mean it, whether you meant to mean it or no.

 

Tags: , ,

12 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: December 24th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
*smiles at you*
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 24th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

See, it works.

Cheers, love.
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: December 24th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Quite well indeed.

And back at you, my dearest, dearest Marshwiggle.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 24th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm greatly obliged, Pole.

And it is seasonal: Incipe, parve puer, risu cognoscere matrem.

So, smiles all 'round:

The inscrutable smile of the Wemyss in his natural habitat
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: December 25th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

And one in return for you, dearest.

noeon From: noeon Date: December 24th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Dearest Puddleglum

*whistles "who cares what they're wearing on Main Street or Savile Row"*

Particularly if we cannot quite mean it: for to smile when we cannot mean it leads us soon or late to mean it in earnest.

Yes, yes, and yes.

*gently, ever-so, hugs you and, as one of nature's born smilers, smiles*

We've all had our losses this year; I'm so sorry for yours.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 24th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thankee, lass.

Have a smile.

Certain glimpses of the Wemyss
noeon From: noeon Date: December 25th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Cannot but smile in return




Edited at 2010-12-25 12:12 am (UTC)
absynthedrinker From: absynthedrinker Date: December 24th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am smiling and I mean to my dear friend.

Peace,
Bubba
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 24th, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

That's my lad.

Smile on.
absynthedrinker From: absynthedrinker Date: December 24th, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: That's my lad.





Peace,
Bubba

wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 24th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Devastating as ever.

Wherefore the grave brow.

Long-furrowed care
12 comments or Leave a comment