God I love you people
Yesterday I had the great opportunity to laugh. After a doubled over fit of hysteria I had in the Bahamas with the Meehan family, which was literally triggered by nothing, I am not sure I have guffawed even once since. Yesterday the damn broke thank the good lord above. I needed it. Big time. Getting way too significant over here, I was. And, yes, I am still mourning – but yesterday I laughed my ass off too.
So this is a time, once again, to acknowledge my friends with whom I can both share the dark angsty stuff as well as laugh like a school girl – or rather a frat boy. With my friends, we cycle between the angst and roar in minutes. This is how I know I am not really going over the edge, by going over the edge. It started simply enough with some banter from a new friend, comic Jeff Wozer about his recent near miss with a killer deer. Then, on to a conversation with the always funny Kristina Hall where actually we just cried together about closing up family homes. Kristina recently had an even more difficult task of emptying out the neglected home of her mother who now resides in a nursing home having lost most of her functioning including her once sharp mind. Kristina and I shared the excruciating tenderness of sorting through memories and possessions of our parents and having to choose what stays and what goes. So many memories are attached to so many things, so sometimes the smallest object carries a punch that will knock you to your knees. We both swept up broken items and broken dreams in our dustpans for one more trip down memory lane and a one-way trip to the dump. This is tough stuff as anyone who has ever cleaned out a family home knows. Until you experience it, it’s hard to realize that each item carries huge emotional weight so making these tough decisions is fraught with peril. Supportive people who get it are key during these moments. They grant the space for us to be however we are about it, they provide an objective eye of what we should stay and what might go – and, most importantly, they are quite careful not to rip anything prematurely from our grasping hearts and fingers.
That is what it was like as we picked through our rubble of our burned up house. Our mindful crew treated each rescued item with tender loving care and if there was any question of whether it should be kept, they beelined for one of us. Their ability to put themselves to the side and simply be there serving us was extraordinary. I hope to bring that level of love and service when I have the opportunity to help someone sort through their memories.
So, Kristina and I weren’t particularly funny together but must have created the “set up” (see Kristina, I remembered something from my comedy course!) which lead to my imminent hysteria. The lovely Ms Meehan had sent a picture of us from Frank and Jennifer’s wedding where I looked stoned and she looked just plain odd. During the day, I would glance at the photo and laugh. On the phone later for our third conversation of the day, I said I would post it to facebook, and did, which began another round of hysteria. Having been headed down a dark alley of a dead end street earlier in the day, my laughing jag was good medicine as were all the comments we received on the photo. Add in the cherry on the cake of some continuing banter with one of my favorite teachers, Jesse Koren, where we bantered about whose guru is best (mine, of course!). It all made quite the smorgasbord of laughter. I even dared to post my comedy video again…
I absolutely need to laugh and I need to be able to laugh at the darndest things. No mere chuckle for me, please. It needs to be ridiculous, twisted and often dark. Maybe laughter is my God, or my God’s way in. I have been talking to God a whole lot during this 6 months and I have to say, I have not really heard a response. But of course, I am expecting the words of God to echo back immediately in the moment, booming from on high and assuring me of something. Sometimes I beg for God to remove my angst and it still doesn’t seem to happen. Or maybe it does happen, and it just doesn’t happen quickly enough for me. If you ask me in this moment, if I feel angst, I would have to say no. Is that God? Is that time? Is that a moment? Is it because I just glanced at that picture and laughed again? Is it that I haven’t had enough coffee yet and just a little bit more will bring my angst back to me? Is it thinking of Jessica, mother of two precious girls, snorting or doing a damn fine running man? Is it a gas bubble?
Last night, I went to a 12-step meeting in this sweet little town. It took something to get me out of the house but I knew I had no good reason to not go other than laziness. Plus Dusty made me promise to go. A small group was gathered around a table and sharing on the topic. Again, I marveled at hearing the contents of my brain dumped from the mouths of a nice looking 40-something boat builder, then a scruffy restaurant worker, then a melancholy mid 50’s women, then a balding, cantankerous 60 year old. Each one of them shared my deepest thoughts. Each one of them told my truths. Each one of them carried a snap shot of the me that I think I am. Re-created is how us Landmark people would phrase that. Gotten. Heard. Known. Normalized. Ok.
God I love the wacky people. Not certifiable, mind you. But those of you who wear darkness on your sleeve, who will weep like a banshee, then laugh uproariously and still know who you are through the midst of all of it. You dabble in your darkness, question the universe, love deeply and feel immensely. Sometimes you overwhelm yourself with your depth of emotion and sometimes you just want to check out. You are the artists of form and of spirit. You are a bubble off plumb, you grapple, you are wild and wooly and loyal to a fault. You doubt yourself on a regular basis, feel alone often, and yet surround yourself with very best of friends. You are just plain nuts and the most sane people on the planet.
God, I love you people.