August 21, 2018

IF YOU DON'T LAUGH, YOU'LL CRY! ... by Jocelyn Faire

If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know the man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, or seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you’ll get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man…All I claim to know is that laughter is the most reliable gauge of human nature. — Feodor Dostoyevsky

The month's theme was difficult, and this surprised me, as I think of myself as having a good sense of humour. Earlier in the week I'd had this conversation with God:
Why am I having trouble with the humour topic this month?
Perhaps it is the heaviness you carry.
Yes, that could be. I'm not sure what it is and why I'm carrying it?
Let's figure it out. Perhaps you should let me carry it, I do have big shoulders.
First and foremost, I feel the heaviness because the furlough period of my daughter and her family is near the end and I feel I've not had enough time with them. When is there enough time? (But this truly was all bonus time, as they were on compassionate leave, my son-in-law's mother was dying, the original focus of their summer was to spend time with her.) Things progressed more quickly and they came out earlier in order to be with her on the palliative ward for ten days before her passing. There were many tears ... over the years, she had also become a good friend of mine, and a great prayer warrior for my daughter's family. The heaviness of a passing lingers, and their focus shifted to the dad left. Sadly it's taken until the middle of August to have a genuine connection with my grand daughter.
But be thankful you had that connection.
My husband has also been having a heavy time-August is the anniversary of his first wife's death, and the recall of his summer journey of 4 years ago has permeated our summer space.
But that too has lifted, and you my dear daughter have been a blessing in his life.
Thanks ... So what have I got to smile about? ... ok, that came out accidentally on the paper ... it was a thought that started to form a few times ... and I usually chastised myself before it fully formed. And now, here it makes itself known in print.
I'm gonna let that one pass—I'm fairly certain you don't want to ask that.
You're right God, I do not want to ask that ungrateful sounding question. I do need a bit of a shake of my head. Listen girl, (I say to myself) ... You're always saying that there is much beauty in this world, and think about it, laughter stems from appreciating the beauty of God. He has a great sense of humour.
God is at the centre of a well-sprung laugh, He is at the heart of Merry, the centre of Joy ... the true reason behind a good belly-laugh.
And besides that ... I know that I laugh more deeply with those that I have wept with.
End of conversation ...
And so I put on my rose coloured glasses to take another look back over the summer to recount the many times humour and laughter were infused. This incident came to mind to share here.
                                                                            Maya and myself
The laughter highlight came the August long weekend, when three adults, three children, a dog and cat travelled fourteen hours over three provinces to attend Canmore Folk festival in Alberta ... what were we thinking?? What originated as a three sisters get together expanded to include a niece from the UK and her three children ages 6, 9 and 12. (OK-the dog and cat were not true, that was an embellishment, but the oldest of the children is special needs, and that included a colostomy bag.) The third sister driving from the West coast had the easy drive. Our prairie group was packed like loose sardines in the van with coffee, sandwiches, snack and entertainment fixings ready for our 7am departure. I was the first driver and the plan was to rotate every few hours. My sister kissed her husband goodby (he was picked up by a friend for morning coffee). I looked into the rear view mirror to see smiling faces all around- a big thumbs up to all, and I put the van into reverse. BANG. Stunned, I looked into the rear view mirror again, to see that the pickup truck of the coffee duo was still there. They were not visible before, behind those smiling travellers. For just a moment we sat in silence and then I said “OK, two thingsWe are not going to let this ruin our holiday and Harold does not have to know about this.” We all burst into laughter. I did get out to inspect damages, hoping there would be none. But the truck grill, had a plastic piece that had clearly dislocated. I said to Iron Man, as he is known, Well you know where to find me, we'll just have to sort it out later. They drove off. This time I waited until I could see them driving toward Tim's before hitting reverse. The standing joke became that we truly started the weekend with a Bang. And truly it did get much better from there with much laughter and generational bonding. Sometime, in the future Harold will also hear the story ... maybe! Many things in life are on a need to know basis ... at this time, he does not yet need to know :)

                                                 Canmore Folk Festival Fun


  1. Started off with a bang! Love it! Interestingly, this month's prompt was difficult for quite a few people, it seems. We all know that laughter is the best medicine but it seemed to be a topic that many of our writers found challenging... perhaps because the old enemy knows how powerful it is...

    1. I also think it is because many people who write, have a story to tell ... and often it is because they start writing out their struggles. I've gone to quite a few folk festivals, and many of the musicians write sad or deep songs. This year we had a few comedians among the performers-it was delightful!

  2. It sounds like we all needed an infusion of humour this summer, Jocelyn and all the rest of you! I know I did and it sounds like I wasn't alone on that. Since I've spent so many years of my life in school--teachers know we're supposed to do things over and over until we get it right--September seems like the beginning of a New Year. The year 2018-2019 is coming into view.

    Sorry to steal your thunder, Jocelyn, but I suggest we all start this year with a bang as far as our writing, our faith and our lives go. I am no reader of God's mind, but I suspect God would smile and nod in agreement. Thanks for sharing your Big Bang Story with us, Jocelyn!

  3. I agree with you Sharon-September is another kind of beginning ... and yes, what a lovely suggestion to start with a Bang-and I think God smiles when we do. The fall conference is part of that kick-off for me.


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