Laughter, The Joy of Giddy

Today is Day 6 in the Series, Postcards From Me (#write31days).

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To catch up and read the series in its entirety click here or go to the link at the top of my homepage. Welcome. You bring Joy. This challenge and journey are better with sojourners along for the ride.
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My poetry asked for a three day weekend. I said since you work so hard…. you deserve it. Take a little vacay. Just please come back tomorrow. Because I am doing this series and you are a big part of it. Don’t leave me hanging. Don’t abandon a girl in her time of need. So that leaves me with prose. Prose today again. Tomorrow poetry. Or a hybrid blend. I love surprises and hope you do too. Come back tomorrow, won’t you and journey through this October series with me.

Subscribe & walk through the entire 31 day series. Just like laughter, it is free. And follow along on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google plus and Facebook. The cruise director in the right sidebar should direct you where to go.

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I am beginning to think that if I have one small regret, it would be I should have laughed more. So I am making up for lost laughter. And the timing is good. Very good. Because I do not know how we would wage these little mini battles with Dementia if it were not for laughter. It is saving us. A lifesaver for our souls. A healing gift from The Creator. Lord have mercy, laughter is good for the places touched by pain.

She throws the door open and waves the bag of dog bones, thrilled at the photograph of the dog on the front. It looks like one of hers and that delights her, turns her inside out with joy. Laughing and smiling and finding joy in a micro-moment. Like the packaging of dog treats.

Joy and laughter are a balm to this family battling Dementia.

Laughter bales the water out of our sinking boat. Buoys us. Anchors us to safety. And elevates our spirits.

We sit in front of a blazing fire. Warmed by each other, the routine of a daily reading from some of our favorite writers. And the cackling wood and flame. Now is the time to start the day well. Now is the time to begin rooted in The Word and in quiet reflection.

We read the words of Anne Lamott, along with Brennan Manning, Oswald Chambers and more. But it is Anne who turns up the fire in our belly’s with hardy belly laughs. The room is turned on its head. We are overtaken by side-splitting cackles. Though laughter is contagious, repeating the phrases which sent us into an hysterical tailspin, well something may get lost in the translation. So I won’t.

But you know the ways your funny bone gets tickled. And how the slightest of nuanced phrases and simple word choices can bring levity to the dark moments. For, indeed, we were discussing some heavy topics, when laughter entered our hearts. Like sickness and pain and divorce. It is not that they are funny. No. It is that the soul balm of laughter and a playfulness in the midst of pain brought a lightness which we needed. Cried out for. Thirsted for.

May laughter and silliness, play and light- heartedness seep into your day. Soothe the hurt. And be a balm to the aches and pains of your heart.

Thank you for joining me for Day Six. You are a treasure.

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Joining Laura Boggess at The Wellspring

I am enjoying Laura’s New Book, Playdates With God, available on Amazon. Every page I’ve read has touched me and left me with a sweetness. It is simply a beautiful, delightful read. I hope to do a giveaway before the end of October of the book. Stay tuned for more on this.

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The Beauty Of Repetition – A Story of The Bats

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Thank you for joining this journey of poetry, prose and photography. To follow the series click here for all posts in Postcards From Me — #write31days
Grateful to have you along on this 31 Day Writing Challenge. You breathe joy onto the pages here as you accompany me on this journey.

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The Beauty of Repetition – A Story Of The Bats
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Good Night Moon for the two hundredth time
Crispy fried chicken from the colonel from Kentucky
Hot macaroni and cheese
Orange or yellow, boxed, or home made
And a glass of cold milk at bedtime
Cheek on cold pillow
Rhythms and patterns, the labyrinth of life

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I start out to gather my words, herd them into a poem. They said, “no can do”. My words talk back to me. They can be headstrong like that. I know they won’t conform to my poem so I give them up and open the field of prose. Let them run wild and free.

I think they like it there sometimes where there is more openness, where it is wider, bigger more like South Dakota. A lot of space to stretch and breathe. And be the words they were created to be. With less fence lines and gateposts and cattle gates with locks.

Plus, it is difficult to write about bats in poetry. Unless you are Billy Collins or some other very creative and poet laureate-esq writer. Because the words, patterns, memories, recollections that have tried to form a poem have put their collective feet down and said “tell this in prose.” I assume your words talk back to you in a similar way.

She keeps telling the bat stories over and over again. And we laugh and feign misery and say”no not again, don’t tell the bat story.” And then we spell as if she can’t and say, here comes the b-a-t story again. Being a child and being an adult are not that dissimilar. Familiarity is comforting. And patterns are guideposts to our living.

Repetition comforts. Pattern calms. Tradition and customs and pilgrimages restore our souls with the balm of the familiar.

I walk to the spring and stop. Stare at the water trickling down. Measure with an invisible yardstick in my memory. Check to see if the water is coming from the spring in a rapid or slowing rate. Twenty something years of going to Wynne Lithia Spring and it’s new every single time. The beauty of repetition restores me. I stop and lose myself in the beauty of the spring. And remember my memories of this place. I have stockpiled them. Hoarded them. Hold them tight.

She asks me if I have read this book, the one in her hand, the one by Flannery O’Connor. And I say yes parts, until I realize it is a different Flannery O’Connor book. And I remind her of the author’s love of peacocks. Thinking we’ll discuss the short stories with tales of the peahens and peabiddies. And she said yes, “I see that now in technicolor on television.” And I haven’t a clue. Until I catch up with her mind and her world and where she has gone. She is not in the room. Her look is far away. Empty. Vapid.  And I am lost.

Dementia is a game player. One moment we are discussing Flannery O’Connor and the next she is remembering NBC’s early logo from the television of her youth. I go there, with her, in my mind. And follow this trail to her past. Where I learn. And revisit. And uncover. And secretly wonder about this place of distant remembering that she goes to brush off the dust and bring back a treasure from her past.

I was thinking of O’Connor’s beautiful peacocks, her beloved peacocks from her youth. Mother was thinking of NBC. As the crow flies, they aren’t that far away. You  must learn the language of dementia before you can communicate with it’s strange dialect. The nuances. The subtleties.

We cross our legs in laughter. Red faced and breathless. The bats came walking into the powder room one day as she sat there. Stunned. Amazed. Bewildered. And then they came from the bookcase during another time in her life. We zig zag through the stories of the bats. And where do all these bats come from. And why is there a series of unfortunate bat stories in this family. And aren’t we all a little batty anyway.

There are other “bat stories”. No not stories of bats. But ones she repeats. The stories of her youth and childhood. The ones that are emblazoned there in her mind. She grabs the photo album. We sit down side by side. And she shows me the pictures of us again. In Boston. I am two.

And I savor her narrative of this faded photograph album.

And listen to her telling of us.

As if it is the first time. Because like my visits to the spring. Her stories are always welcome and new. With an added piece of herself, folded into the telling. And if I listen with the ear of a child, I will walk away, wiser. Changed.

By the beauty of the repetition. And dementia loses another battle. And we are winners, again. We beat back the dark and stand in the light. And say “Wonderful story, mother. Tell us again.”

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In Which I Look For Mid-Week Joy

Some days I catch myself. I stop, take breathes and say, you have become very serious. I give myself permission to laugh, to lighten up, to go looking for the joy that I know already exists. I become a little more intentional about letting go, letting laughter ooze into my pores, relaxing into a belly laugh, deep crows-feet laden smiles, and breathe in pure joy.

Today is Day 9.

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I love the visual imagery these  quotes from Ann Lamott bring to my soul-weary self. It gives me permission to loosen up and to rejoice with Creator God. Celebrate that He designed laughter. Acknowledge that joy is deeply healing and necessary. I am going looking in an intentional way for more joy, more humor, more silliness.

Shall we be silly together.

Ready, Set, Go Notice.

Joy is the best make-up.–Ann Lamott

Laughter is carbonated holiness — Ann Lamott

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I hope you hear the invitation to follow along via a subscription either in your reader or delivered when I post to your inbox. You may come and go whenever you like, if you choose not to subscribe. There are no rules. Just a warm welcome.

I am also on twitter, facebook and on instagram. Today I shall look for joy and post what I find on my instagram feed. Off to lighten up, to let the tears of laughter roll.

As always, thank you for being here.

Uncover Laughter

laughing sister

May you give laughter away today.
Gift it.
To someone.
And may it be given back to you.
Uncovered from the cold blanket of grief
And sorrow.
Set free to soar
Released to heal.

May you give laughter away today.
Hand it to the hurting.
Bellow from your belly
Into a world in pain.

May you grab a sister by the hand
And know the sweet sweet joy
Anew after a long cold season
When it seemed to hide
Buried under mounds of circumstance.

Bring the gift
Receive the gift
Embrace the gift

Long, loud, lovely

Laughter

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Joining Still Saturday and Deidra Riggs for The Sunday Community at Deidra Riggs dot com

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