The wisdom of fools

While Al dressed as the Moon for school yesterday, that wasn’t his Halloween costume. (The school picks a theme for kids to dress up, completely unrelated to Halloween, so they don’t have to deal with inappropriate costumes or offending families who don’t celebrate the holiday.) Last year he wanted to be a jester, but I couldn’t think of a way to make the costume. (He was a Viking instead.)

This year I found him a jester costume at Goodwill. It’s adult size, so I had to pin it in back, but he’ll be able to wear it again, for Halloween or any other time it suits the occasion. He was quite a happy jester, skipping and dancing his way down the street.

I found myself thinking about jesters, or fools as they are also known. One of our family’s favorite movies is The Court Jester, where Danny Kaye plays an ex-carnival entertainer turned minstrel, now pretending to be the new court jester in the court of the usurper to the throne of England. It’s a very funny movie, with a wonderful, wholesome sort of humor, unlike so much of what passes for humor in movies and TV shows today. 

I also think of the poem “Fool’s Prayer,” by Edward Rowland Sill. I first found this poem in a book of religious verse from the library when I was a teenager. I was so impressed by the wisdom expressed in it that I typed it out and kept it on a bulletin board in my room, together with other poems and quotations that I found particularly meaningful.

In more general terms, jesters are a reminder of the importance of humor and laughter. If you’ve never read The Joyful Noiseletter, published by the Fellowship of Merry Christians, check it out!


3 Responses to The wisdom of fools

  1. modestypress says:

    How is the Joyful Newsletter different from The

    Not criticizing or praising one or the other.

    • Pauline says: is satire. Some Christians, apparently, have read it and not realized it was satire and become very upset about the supposed news it reports. I had to read a few articles myself to become convinced it was not for real (I had not heard of it before your comment, and went there assuming it was in fact similar to the Joyful Noiseletter).

      The Joyful Noiseletter (not Newsletter) is much more up front about being intended to provide humor. The full newsletter is by subscription only (printed or electronic version), but without a subscription you can still view a sample of their humor and jokes and cartoons. I don’t have a subscription, but my husband has two Holy Humor books by Cal Samra, which is where we learned about the Fellowship of Merry Christians. (The books are taken from the first ten years of the Joyful Noiseletter.)

  2. modestypress says:

    Thank you. That analysis makes sense.

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