It’s been an exhausting week. Far too much bad news, challenging situations, and friends and loved ones under massive stress. Today, Rose and I were both fragile and depressed, with little left for each other. I collected her from work after a day of discouraging medical appointments and dull errands, and we drove home both in tears, at the end of our tether. We had friends visiting for dinner, so before they arrived we took a moment to touch base. Either we were going to reconnect and pull off a wonderful evening, or snap at each other and deepen the strain. We were able to sit with the triggers and hear each other and found as the tension lifted that our natural crazy sense of humour returned. We spent a wonderful evening playing board games, making jokes, and pulling silly faces at each other. In bed that evening we mused- we’d somewhat lost our humour lately. We had times of deep & meaningful conversation, or companionable connection, or heavy duty trauma territory, but it felt like it had been ages since we’d made each other laugh. What a gift it is, this simple thing. What a miracle that the world that weighs so heavy can be lifted by a laugh. Suddenly the road doesn’t seem so long or the night so dark. It’s the most simple and joyful form of mindfulness I know. It’s not about the destination, it’s all about the journey. There’s no better answer I’ve found to the scream trapped in the throat and the waiting for better years.
When have you last laughed? When have you last felt yourself step sideways out of crushing anguish and found the pain can make the humour sharp and black and driven and surreal but no less funny and no less freeing? I hope you disturb sleeping people and burst stitches and cry from the corners of your eyes and get a stitch in your side and blow chocolate milk out of your nose and gasp for air. I hope the absurdity of life helps you put down big rocks of pain and grief and play for a little while and pretend to be someone who isn’t dying inside, isn’t frozen by terror or crushed by pain or tortured by memory. And if you don’t have someone to play with, don’t forget that phones can record your silly faces and funny voices and baffling walks. Sometimes laughing is the bravest thing we do.