Yeah, Lighten Up!
5 light things about me:
1) I like to sit in the dark.
2) My friend Jim has a suspicion that Joss Whedon has a thing for women who kick ass (he's the creator of Buffy, and his next project is Wonder Woman). Buffy fan that I am, I think I may be guilty of that too. This week I watched "Tank Girl" and "Aeon Flux" and really enjoyed them both! (No psychoanalysis please!)
3) I love comedies from the 70s. The other day I caught the end of one of my favorites--What's Up, Doc? It has the classic closing line, especially since it comes out of the mouth of Ryan O'Neal, who starred in "Love Story." Barbara Streisand says to him, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." To which O'Neal replies: "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
4) I never injure myself in "normal" ways: I got my fingers jammed in a folding chair once, lost a couple of fingernails; I tripped over a cinder block and dislocated my elbow; I've needed stitches a couple of times: once when I cut my hand open with a pair of scissors, once when I slammed myself in the face with my own racquetball racket; and I almost needed stitches when I sliced my leg open on the steps inside the tank of a dunking booth.
5) I like to just show up and surprise people without notice (however, they don't always appreciate this).
And since we're talking about lightening up, I recommend this article by Dolores Curran. It's about ten years old now, but still poignant. Here's a glimpse:
Humor has been called a recess for the spirit and laughter a little like changing a baby’s diaper. You know it won’t change anything permanently but it will make everything O.K. for a while. Humor offers multiple gifts. It gives us a sense of perspective. For example, how could I feel self-important after a woman told me she was reading my column for Lent?
We can get so overly concerned about trivialities in our daily lives that only later do we recognize the absurd importance we granted them at the time. We shake our heads and wonder why we didn’t laugh at them instead of allowing them to disturb our serenity. Humor invites us to examine life in an unconventional, offbeat and delightful way, as children do. A grandmother in one of my workshops shared that when she was feeding lunch to her grandchildren, one said in distress, “Grandma, we forgot to pray. We always pray at our other grandma’s.”
His older sister shushed him, saying, “Jeffrey, we don’t have to pray here. This grandma’s food is always good.”
Humor instills in us a sense of joy. Watching a baby discover her feet for the first time or hearing a youngster describe the monster in his closet leads our bones to laughter and our souls to joy. Reinhold Niebuhr asserted, “Humor is prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer.” How contrary these words are to sacred-is-grim adherents! Sadly, they would be likely to reject them simply because they have so little experience of joy in the ordinary which erupts into spontaneous prayer.
Humor gives us an opportunity to acknowledge our shortcomings, as the obese comedian did when he introduced himself as a recovering anorexic. We all have shortcomings, but we spend most of our lives trying to conceal them. Often, humor allows us to admit to them publicly, to acknowledge that we aren’t perfect. Humor, after all, springs from the same root as humility, human and humus—“earthiness.”
read the whole thing.