top of page
  • Writer's pictureRachel Pierman

Life is a comedy in long shot

Updated: Mar 1

I had the most amazing two hour conversation last night with artist Timothy Foss, a guest on my podcast (and upcoming teacher to CraftyMonkies). We talked for nearly two hours about life and how we can we navigate our own lives with positive intention and curiosity. It was one of those conversations you have in life where someone just 'gets' you and you both 'vibrate' on the same frequency. I learnt so much in that two hours and I can't wait to share some of Tims insights with you.

During our conversation we discussed a quote from Charlie Chaplin, ""Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot". You can hear our thoughts in the podcast soon. This morning I sat and pondered a little more on its meaning and how we can use this motto in our own lives.

If we think about Charlie in his film roles, he was often depicted as the romantic fool, who never seemed to get the girl. Imagine Charlie handing a rose to a girl who, perhaps, for a moment, takes his rose and invites him to walk with her on the sidewalk, only for Charlie to trip and fall or walk into a scaffolding plank. The girl leaves and Charlie is brokenhearted. As an audience we see both the comedy and the pain. So, in essence, Charlie has taken this cinematic moment as a metaphor for life.

In our own lives, if we can view our pain with curiosity and from a comedic slant, perhaps we can lessen our pain and help our healing in the process. Of course we shouldn't close off our emotions and try to make a joke of everything. If we suffer, heartbreak, loss, grief, it's important to sit with those feelings. One thing in life is guaranteed; if you constantly ignore your feelings and try to run from them, they will always catch up to you. If those emotions have been chasing you for awhile, they will likely be more intense. You will probably have to re-live the emotions you have been running from on a much deeper level than if you were to have dealt with those feelings in the first place. I'll write another blog piece on this. Let's get back to Charlie.

When we think of Charlie, we remember his exceptional comedic talent and his adorable and perfectly timed funny walks, but if we look a little closer behind the comedic mask, there is a sadness he carried. It's true, he had his share of sadness in his personal life. Chaplin's childhood in London was one of poverty and hardship. His father was absent and his mother struggled financially, he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine. When he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum and yet, despite this troubling start he became a cherished movie star who's aim, it seems, was to bring joy to so many. Perhaps in bringing light to other's lives, he was able to heal himself. Something we should maybe consider for ourselves and others?

I won't summarise or discuss further the essential things we need to learn about ourselves to live an authentic and happy life. Instead I'll share a piece of writing from Charlie himself about how he learns to love himself and do all of that. It's beautifully written and succinct, and I think it's worth considering his words as we move forward in our own healing journeys.

As I began to love myself.

Written by Charlie Chaplin

“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE”!.

Words we can all benefit from.

22 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page