I was not going to laugh. Not today. I was busy with important things.
I read a headline. And another. And another. One worse than the next.
Then, in the latest episode of the Turkish telenovela I’m currently tormenting myself with in the evening, everyone is still plotting and getting very angry. It was depressing to watch.
Also, earlier I forgot to defrost the dog food packets. Almost ran out of gas after work when I went to get a coffee. The guy next to me at the pump lifted up his shirt and stood there next to his car, scratching his naked belly for a good two minutes.
The kids at Starbucks got my drink wrong three times. The file with notes for an important project I’ve been working on doesn’t open after the computer update and reset.
And a few last minute Christmas gift orders are, I kid you not, getting stuck in ways I can’t explain except to say that for whatever reason, tonight, the internet doesn’t like me.
But all these are little serious things. The big serious things we don’t mention. We all have them, and need no reminders.
I was so not going to laugh.
And then I came across a meme/tweet:
“The irony is not lost on me that I’m yelling f$@k while trying to hang a sign that says “joy” by the fireplace.”
For a few moments, I feel so ridiculous. Everything is so ridiculous. I laugh with compassion and tenderness and exasperation.
We try too hard, do we not, especially in tough times, to do the right things, to heal in the right ways, to analyze and coordinate and strategize. Constantly.
We are so serious. We meditate or pray (or both) for the right answers. We smudge and bless and balance chakras. Cleansing rituals and good behaviors abound.
And still, sh%t happens.
And not only does it happen with stuff we can’t control, but also with stuff we can.
Like yelling. Or picking up that call or text we know we should ignore. Like getting into a huge argument over something entirely irrelevant. Like worrying about not one, not a few, but ALL the things we can’t possibly control.
It seems impertinent to laugh when things are so, so complicated, or painful, or sad.
But it’s ok to laugh.
No less than it’s ok to feel miserable and overwhelmed and exhausted. Scared out of our minds over whatever it is…the horrible headline, the real or imagined misfortune.
Or equally angry at ourselves, at the delivery guy who didn’t text, at the broken appliance, at other people being awful (or just annoying). At the universe. At everything.
It’s ok to yell in frustration while decorating for the holidays. To be ridiculous for a bit, see the ridiculous in ourselves and exasperating circumstance of all kinds, and just take a moment to laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Try it. Just for a minute. Let go and laugh.
After all, when you think about it, we are all clowns. We are all godz. We are all so flawed and so wonderful. Our world is a mess and a miracle. There’s danger and misery everywhere. And still, flowers bloom.
Nothing makes sense. All is perfect just as it is. So many things are horrible beyond description. And unfair. And yet, even one breath is so generous a gift.