Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Book Excerpt


irony: a combination of circumstances or a result that is the opposite of what might be expected or considered appropriate

I do not laugh enough; it is not that I fail to find humor; I do. I am talking about deep laughter; I envy my friends, Deni and Margaret as well as my sister-in-law, Jane - they really know how to laugh – with a sense of abandon to the universal irony. My experiences of deep laughter have been far between, but they are glorious gems that are radiant in memory: I giggled as a child; I remember the feeling when an adult would question my logic, and I would laugh at my own lack of it. For this reason, I tolerate giggling in children, and sometimes I feel the surge of a giggle myself when I am with them, always wishing that I was not the adult on those occasions.
I revisit certain incidents in my life, keep them alive in memory, and sometimes I laugh again.
Revisited: My son, Jesse, and I were eating lunch with my three year old grandson, Aiden – on a latticed wrought-iron table. Aiden found it very funny that we kept losing pieces of our lunch through the lattice holes. He giggled, and soon, both Jesse and I were laughing with tears. It was wonderful!
Revisited: Late at night after a long day of travel, Stu and I went on a laughing spree that I will never forget; we had failed in our effort to find a campground. Not funny? We had a map, which I was reading while Stu drove, but none of the backroads were signed. We were lost; not funny; not until Stu abruptly pulled to side of the road and asked to see the map. I impatiently shoved it at him. After trying to manipulate it against the steering wheel and peering at it as if he were half blind, he suddenly wadded it in a ball and threw it out the window. We laughed about that forever!
Revisited: My friend, Tiffany, and I found it curious when we noticed two armed men guarding a panel truck at a motel in Fort Brag. The contrast of their relaxed, cordial greetings and the shotguns was too much irony to bear. “Why the guns?” I asked when the men greeted me. “Gold,” they said. “Morel mushrooms,” corrected a reputable source.
Revisited: I often laugh on backpack trips, that sudden, overwhelming mirth when, inexplicably, the absurdity of living comes into focus. My friend, Joe, was trying to make a rain shelter out of a flimsy plastic poncho, but the wind would not have it; it stuck to his face, wrapped his head, and then entangled itself in a bush where it self-destructed. His perseverance made the incident even funnier, and when another in our party came along, wearing a garbage bag, we were touched by the universal truth of ridiculous, and were seized with paroxysms of laughter – and acceptance of our own propensities to take ourselves too seriously. Give me laughter, deep, soul-shaking, humbling laughter; it is real!                  

1 comment: