In many ways my life has been a lesson in laughter, which isn’t to say that my life has been a laugh. Quite to the contrary, pain and struggle and loss became the norm for me at an early age. I am so well-versed in crises it could make you cry. Or, more likely, could make me cry. Inexplicably, at any hour of the day, and from the smallest of triggers, I could, with great ease, draw my limbs inward, curl my body up into a ball, and cry with a ferociousness that would have my eyes swollen for days afterwards.
But see, I decided a long time ago that life perpetually posed two options to all of us, in any situation: to laugh or to cry.
There has to be space to feel what’s real, and I’m certainly not a proponent of making some dumb joke to cover up a moment of pain (in fact, that annoys me to no end). But perhaps a little later in the day, after you’ve taken a shower and put on deodorant and had a salad or something, that’s when you’ve got to decide; you can dwell in the hardship and loss, and ain’t nobody going to stop you from doing that. Or you can just laugh. You can just see that in every thing lies an essence of humor just waited to be harvested. That somehow, like some ironic cosmic law of the universe, the more painful a situation is, the more potential for humor there seems to be.
That is, to date, one of the greatest lessons of my life–above all, you just have to laugh. It doesn’t sound particularly profound or even original, but it’s my truth, regardless. Without laughter, we would all have drowned by now in our boundless sorrow.
That is why I worship in the house of laughter, why I laugh so often and much and like best the people who do the same. Because throughout the years laughter has been what has kept me buoyant, has reminded me that everything will be okay, and has helped me to recognize the grace that is ever-present, that silently orchestrates our lives into myriad patterns and designs.