Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Laughter is good medicine...isn't that the saying?

When I think of laughter, I think of the soft, chuckling sound, like the music of River flowing over Pebbles and Stones, of a baby's' first attempt at jocularity...

I think of the robust, hearty laughter that ensues from a good joke.

I think of the quiet, heartbreaking, despairing laughter that results from life's drastic changes.

I think of the social, charming laughter used in group situations...a warm, sympathetic sound that draws people in...

And I think of the laughter that deepens into uncontrollable, rolling hilarity...the kind I remember sharing with good friends in my teen years.

But laughter has another side, perhaps a darker side, in me.

There are times when laughter releases emotion, when I laugh at inappropriate events. And there are times when I laugh at the foibles of foolish behavior, when there is nothing left to do but shrug my shoulders...and release that deep chuckle building in my gut.

Then there are the times when laughter used in psychic warfare defuses and releases negative energy, when it aids in letting go and letting God. This kind of laughter reminds me of what a good joke life really is.

Because that kind of laughter, used when all else fails, tends to bring the other party up short, tends to remind them, too, of the ridiculousness of it all. There is no answer to laughter.

I remember the story of Rumpelstiltskin. The picture I have in my mind of him having a tantrum when his plans went awry...hopping around on that peg leg, absolutely out of control...makes me laugh every time. And this is the unfortunate picture that flashes into my consciousness each and every time I'm engaged with someone who is indulging in frustration and anger.

Suddenly, like an explosive whoosh..laughter billows out of me. This has given me grief, more than once, in my life...it can be taken as a taunt, fueling the other person's anger, where words are then no longer used.

When emotions run amok, when anything I say is used against me, when reality is twisted into a perception only apparent to the other, when that proverbial brick wall suddenly rears up in front of me...my only recourse is to laugh; to release that trapped ball of energy that is going nowhere...

I laugh when I no longer have anything left to say.

I have found, in doing so, that I find acceptance of the situation I'm in. And with acceptance, I further strengthen my resolve, and suddenly...I no longer feel the need to explain; to smooth the ugly, churning waters. It is what it is.

This kind of laughter renews my equilibrium.

Laughter is all about incongruity, after all...an inconsistency in any given situation, or a sudden surprise.

Laughter is the best medicine, with dark or light humour. It allows me to put things into perspective, to remember what is important.

With my granddaughter, I share her giggles; with my grandson, my heart leaps about when I laugh with him. I share uncontrollable mirth with my partner, as we watch some humourous story on TV.

Each and every time laughter wells up in me, regardless of the situation, I feel better.

What could be better than that?


  1. Some how I feel cleansed after a good laugh. When the laughter is so robust and so hardy that tears well up in my eyes and roll down my cheeks. The feel of everything inside the body responding to the jovial situations and causing our stomach to ache and our bladder to overflow. When the bout of laughing ceases then I feel a little lighter and a lot closer to everyone around me and with spirit. For I know it is spirit that has given me the instant of laugh. The giggles that start out slow and erupt into uncontrolable bouts of laughter. The feeling of fun and good times that come with the laugh.
    I know sit here with a smile on my face and feel grand.
    Thank you

  2. marion,
    I can think of nothing that is better! They say laughter adds years on to your life. At the rate I am going, I am going to live to be 150! Laughter is so contagious and is meant to be shared. hugssssssss and laughter for always!

  3. There have been times in my life when I've laughed at inappropriate times, but it's because I didn't want to cry or lash out in anger. I think my life went better for laughing.

  4. ahhh... dave said it so well. sometimes i get that non-stop laughing itch which my sis calls the "haha gas atttack"! hehe... and i'll laugh and laugh and cry and go rollin everywhere! hahaha... yes... very good medicine. *giggles* :)

  5. Marion,

    Oh, oh, oh! What truths you write!

    My sisters and I giggled during the graveside services for my father a few years ago. We loved him dearly, but one of us made a snorting sound through a sob, and it was loud enough for everyone to hear, and our normal reaction to that type of thing is to laugh. So even though we were grieving, we were giggling. We imagined that Dad was laughing with us. He probably was. (Or giving us that "look" of disapproval -- like the look I got when I was in third grade and said the "beans/fart" poem at the dinner table.)

    Miss T

  6. Dave, I know what that grand feeling is like...laughter, even gentle chuckles makes me feel a whole lot better.

    Lorna, I have no doubt laughter will add years...I can tell on people's faces in their latter years who laughed a lot and who didn't...the wrinkles tell the tale!

  7. Jan, thank you for understanding...sometimes words or other actions are too potent, and laughter fills the bill, for me.

    Alison...when that non-stop laughing itch appears, I know I will be totally relaxed after it ends. I love those!

    Miss T...can you still recite the "bean fart poem"? I looked it up and didn't come up with much and I can't for the life of me remember all of it, lol!

    That grieving/giggling is so familiar to me. I usually end up in tears.

    You were doing exactly what is normal for you and your siblings and I'll bet your Dad loved to hear every minute of it!

  8. I am always amazed how powerful laughter is, it completely changes the mental state, and fills you with joy, no matter how sad or angry you are.

    Often times when I am angry or in an argument I snap myself out of it by saying something completely crazy, which usually makes myself and whomever I am arguing with laugh so hard we forget our disagreement. :)

    Great post! Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. "gas attack"! he he Alison you are to funny. But Marion I agree with you, I love laughing too, it cleanses so well. My sister hiccuped once in church while we were teenagers and we couldn't stop laughing, my mum gave us the parent strict look to be quiet, we couldn't.
    Then mum would make angry eyes at us and we just giggled even harder, I'll never forget that day!

  10. I so agree with you on the power of laughter. I'm enjoying your blog, especially lately! I just did a post that you might appreciate:


    anyway, keep up the great work..and love the photos too.

  11. Laughter in the company of good friends has to be the best therapy out.

  12. .
    let me laugh
    with you ...

    Greetings from Japan and a Happy Haiku Friend !

    . Happy Haiku Gallery .

  13. Matt, that's what I love about laughter too...the ability it has to change moods so quickly!

    Hann,laughter is such a wonderful release of emotions, tense or joyful. Those moments of immense hilarity are the times I remember the best.

    Palm Springs...I'm just catching up on my blogging...another vist to your site is next on my list. Thank you for commenting...I really appreciate it!

    Davem, those moments make memories, for sure...that shared warmth can't be beat.

    Gabi...that's lovely. Thank you for visiting with such a valuable comment!

  14. I enjoyed reading this post Marion. Laughter is a great shock absorber, it's a great release when we're feeling down, to take our minds off things. Having a positive attitude and being able to laugh is a big part of staying young and healthy. They also did some research here that said laughing burns calories and helps you stay slim too!