TDB&TB Question #3 ~ A Strange Euphoria

by Jean-Dominique Bauby

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed May 07, 2008 7:04 pm

Some great thoughts here! :applause: Keep 'em coming! :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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nebraska
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Unread postby nebraska » Wed May 07, 2008 7:36 pm

I don't know if this was true laughter.......or hysteria. There must be a difference. I know sometimes a situation can be so absurd you can't do anything else but laugh, but in Jean-Do's situation I have to wonder if his euphoria bordered on a breakdown.

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gemini
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Unread postby gemini » Wed May 07, 2008 7:48 pm

nebraska wrote:I don't know if this was true laughter.......or hysteria. There must be a difference. I know sometimes a situation can be so absurd you can't do anything else but laugh, but in Jean-Do's situation I have to wonder if his euphoria bordered on a breakdown.

I think his last sentence here could be just that since we know Eugenie is a statue and he converses with her in his head.
"My jovial cackling at first disconcerted Eugenie, until she herself was infected by my mirth. We laughed until we cried.”

Another crazy thought....if he had a breakdown it would be difficult to tell the degree with him having to describe his symptoms. He may have had something similiar and recovered enough to want to make better use of his time, hence the book. I know he wanted to prove he was not a vegetable to those who knew him but he also wanted to describe his state to the rest of the world.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

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Parlez
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Unread postby Parlez » Wed May 07, 2008 8:08 pm

Well, they say you have to crack up (or 'crack open') before the light can get in... :chill:

I agree about the inner voice. I think there are actually two; one ego-driven ('I am this or that because I do this or that and because I look this or that way') and one is more core-spiritual ('I am'). What it takes to get past the first, egocentric, voice is pretty herculean. But when you do (and I don't speak from personal experience here) they say you are, indeed, released.

I have no doubt Jean-Do ran the gamut of emotions after waking up and discovering what had happened to him. He didn't come out of his coma laughing. The sentence we're discussing here is just one brief glimpse of his overall reaction to his condition. What it shows, IMO, is an expanding perspective on his part - from the depths of sorrow and loss and despair to...something else. As response mechanisms go, laughter is one of the best. It often opens the door to being able to acheive some sort of honest, balanced sense that things are, if not the way you ever imagined they'd be, at least endurable.
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa
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Betty Sue
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Wed May 07, 2008 9:10 pm

Beautiful, Parlez!! :cloud9:
"I never wanted to be remembered for being a star."

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed May 07, 2008 9:38 pm

It is the first time he has seen himself in his physical state. He has been dealing emotionally and physically with the discovery of the limits of his physical being and the actuality of what has happened to him. Perhaps he hadn't really thought about his appearance, other things being a little more pressing. When he actually sees himself he realizes what another huge blow has been delivered. This guy was the editor of French Elle and apparently quite a playboy. This must have seemed like the final insult and there was nothing left to do but throw up his hands (metaphorically)and laugh at/with the gods. Having suffered the final insult, the final layer stripped away, there was nothing left to do but let it go and move on to what was possible.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby magpie » Thu May 08, 2008 2:41 pm

shadowydog wrote:I think sometimes the old adage "laughter is the best medicine" is true.....Sometimes it is the ONLY medicine.


Exactly. I've often wondered what other people would think if they heard what Mom & I were laughing about during her recovery. In any other circumstance, it would have seemed harsh & uncaring. We laughed at things that to others wouldn't have been funny, but it helped us make it through the tough times. Strong emotions often surface in odd ways.
I'm having a thought here. . . .
. . if you simply try to tell the truth you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
--C.S. Lewis

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suec
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Unread postby suec » Sat May 10, 2008 7:50 am

Magpie, you remind of something that happened when a relative was dying. Various family members and friends came to say their goodbyes, and as one of them entered the room, he said an expletive followed by "You look rough! Are you ill?" . The laughter that ensued was just what was needed. Laughter is the raft we cling to when the alternative is drowning.
Funnily enough on the day this was posted, I had had a truly vile day, with one thing after another and came home thankful it was over - except it wasn't: there was to be another blow at home. Nothing remotely tragic, but certainly, I was in two minds whether to laugh or cry. It didn't give me any insights for anwering the question, but I did need a few days of distance before tackling it.
I must say laughter is also a very social activity: "the shortest distance between two people". What strikes me the most is that the other person in this case is a marble bust, transformed in his imagination into a gentle woman. He may laugh, but the world does not laugh with him.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."


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