You may think this is someone who performs and tries to make people laugh feeling smug when he achieves his purpose…but it’s not really. I once recall Billy Connolly saying (probably on Parkinson…he was never off it!) that the funniest things he had ever heard were always in the workplace. The tea room…the water cooler…any place where people take respite from their daily grind produces this wonderful banter or badinage that sometimes makes you laugh until you cry. It is humour that doesn’t travel well out of its particular setting. Researching this poem (yes I do actually do research) I read quite a bit about how laughter (even forced) can improve your health…it’s all to do with producing endorphins apparently

 

THE BEST MEDICINE

Remember the last time you said something

…something so funny, everyone laughed.

And do you recall the buzz you felt on having

Been the cause of such joy released?

Hold that thought. Freeze that moment.

Step outside of yourself…outside of life.

Let your eyes circle the room and

Drink in the sight of the knocked-back heads,

Where arms are splayed to counteract

The relinquishment of bodily control.

Children again in the jungle gym;

Primal primates of pure emotion.

Do you see the eyes touched shut;

Happy enough to forgo the need to see

The guffawing of the gaping mouths

That silently surround them?

And knowing that you…you brought about

The unrestrained joy that brings us together;

The unashamed lack of inhibition

Of endorphins endorsing ‘feel good’

In the people with which you find yourself.

Maybe in the pressure of the workspace

Or the carved in stone reality of a funeral wake.

It was just you being funny. No agenda

Not humour evoked to cajole or sell

Some product or a so-called better life.

Just you taking the time out to forget everything else.

Taking everyone outside…Outside of their lives.

Just for a second. How good did it make them feel

Just for that second? How good did it make you feel?

Pretty good, I reckon.

©gray lightfoot

laughter