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?