The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. ~e.e. cummings
Last week the depths of my sadness was palpable. As I wrote my post, Tell Me, honoring my father, the tears dropped on the keyboard. My fingers struggled to keep typing, knowing the words couldn’t hang in my head or in mid-air. They definitely needed a place to land. As I moved through the week, much to my surprise the assault of sadness lightened.
This past weekend laughter surrounded me. My daughter played at the pool, dipped her toes into the water, yelled that it was cold, and then a bright, bellied laugh came from her. It echoed in my ears. During the afternoon, her friends played water games, ate pizza, and reveled in the luster of spring. I recall smiling at my daughter, wanting her to bask in this laughter or at least hoped that years down the road she could recall what this childhood laughter felt like. It’s the laughter of not knowing what is to come, but indulging in it without any hesitation.
On at least three or four occasions this weekend, it seems as if my daughter’s laugh jumped from her to me. As my husband and I shopped for groceries this weekend, we bantered back and forth, joking and teasing, and yes, laughing. We got together with our friends and at least twice during the evening, I remember laughing so hard, that I had to take a breath. And this laughter felt palpable too. I heard the own raucousness of the sounds coming from my belly and I thought about this moment, hours later. It hit me. I was ambushed by laughter.
And I felt the need to acknowledge laughter’s presence. I spend much of my time honoring my sadness, but I don’t think I treat laughter as its corresponding equivalent. It is so easy to dwell on what you’ve lost, but not appreciate that everyday, there is something or someone that will coax you to laugh. I’ve been chasing the present and trying to analyze the best way to live in the now. Yesterday, for the first time, I realized that immersing myself in laughter is the easiest way to live in the present.
Do you think about laughter? Do you believe it is the easiest way to live in the present? Do you laugh everyday?
Oh, my gosh.
Laughter to me, more important than food somedays.
As a survivor of PPD, when I thought I’d never laugh again, I cherish each moment that has me forget myself and burst out in the most primitive of all reactions: the laugh.
So true. Laughter can get you through things in ways you can’t explain. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Oh I do love a good laugh. So glad you are surrounded by them, Rudri! Ambushed–love it.
Thanks Windy! On certain days, I am so grateful for laughter.
I think there is truth to the saying that laughter is the best medicine.
There is really no better way to describe laughter.
I just said to my husband yesterday “I feel like I haven’t truly laughed in ages.” 🙂
I know things have been hard for you. I hope you get a good laugh soon.
Laughter is the best medicine 🙂
There’s nothing better than gut-busting laughter, the kind you can’t hold in for fear your body might explode. Love it.
I love your analogy Kelly. That laughter is the purest.
Two poles, but two very important poles and I don’t believe either is completely understood without the other. But your words here do a fantastic job of describing it. Laugh on my friend!
Thanks Christine. As I’ve said before, I think it is a pendulum, you have to understand sadness to appreciate happiness. I don’t think you can experience one without the other.
I realized that even in the depths of my despair, my daughter was able to elicit laughter out of me. They’re such comic relief at times and a job to behold at others that you just can’t help but be swept away by them. And thank goodness for it too because we do need these reminders every now and then, that laughter truly is the best medicine.
My daughter does the same Justine. She will pop out with something that I laugh about days later. I am grateful to experience that spontaneous laughter.
Laughter is, indeed, good medicine. I do it often, but many times, half-heartedly. True, joyous, can’t-contain-it laughter is a beautiful thing.
When those can’t contain moments happen, I certainly relish it as much as I can. Mainly because I don’t know when the next one will come.
I am blessed with a family full of people with great senses of humor, and they keep me laughing. Otherwise, I’d take life too seriously. Great post!
That’s great Amy! A good joke and collective laughter within families is something that is so precious and irreplaceable. Glad you have it in your life.
Thank goodness for the surprise laughter – the more wicked the better! Life gets so tedious, so serious, so complex – and sometimes it’s our children who teach us to laugh again.
Thanks BLW. Laughter can help you forget about the complexities (at least for a little while).
Oh crumbs – laughter and humour is part of each and every day around here. When I had my stroke my husband read that strokes often result in a profound personality change so you can imagine his relief when, even in hospital, I was finding some things to smile at. Laughter has got us through many tough situations and at times when I feel quite black I’ll sometimes make a point of watching favourite comedy programmes because I know that even if I’m not sitting there guffawing like donkey, they *do* make me feel better.
So important Jayne. I am so glad the laughter part of you remained intact.
Can’t imagine a day without laughter. Even at my own expense, it’s worth it.
I often laugh at my own foibles. It’s fun to just laugh at yourself once and awhile.