I watched my friend walk along the path and noticed that sometimes, quite suddenly, he would break out into laughter.
‘Why do you laugh?’ I asked.
‘How could I do anything else?’ he said. ‘Look at me! I am so riddled with pretences – how could I possibly take myself seriously? No, I must laugh.’
Then a little later, along the same path, I noticed that my friend was a frustrated figure…and in obvious despair.
‘Why do you despair?’ I asked.
‘How can I do anything else?’ he said. ‘Look at me! What do you see but a tight little knot of anxious self-protection, who never seems to change! Of course I must despair!’
I watched him walk on down the path, laughing, despairing, laughing, despairing…and sometimes dancing, singing ‘What it is to be free!’
I asked a local woman where the path went.
‘Oh, he’ll be all right,’ she said. ‘It’s the path to sanity.’