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07/11/2009: "Bonfires and Belly Laughing"


We'd been invited to a bonfire at Sandy Beach and I'd been looking forward to it. But as is often the case, by the time I got home from work Friday night, I was feeling tired and home-body-ish. The bonfire started at 7...but we fell asleep on the couch until 8:30. Aaron felt it was too late but I thought we should make an appearance.

We packed the large wicker picnic basket (a wedding gift from our friend Kate) and walked the two blocks down to Sandy Beach. The fire was roaring, there were lots of people there I knew as well as kids and dogs for Noah to play with on the beach.

We ate hot dogs and s'mores and drank ice cold beer. My artist friend Tasha offered me a sweet deal (art related but still secret) that still gets my heart atwitter to think about. The weather was beautiful and we were all in good moods with lots and lots of laughing. It felt wonderful; on a scale of 1 to 10, Noah rated the night a 37,000.

Then this morning I received a poem that my best girlfriend from college (talented writer Jenni Williams) wrote:

The Beginners Guide to Belly Laughing
for Elise

Hereís how you belly laugh:

Get a friend then

Lie on your back and close your eyes

Pretend to laugh, go hee hee hee, haa haa haa, hee hee hee, haa haa haa

Hee hee hee, gwhaa gwhaa haa snork, gnhuhn-nug haa herpÖ

Keep going no matter how uncomfortable or stupid you feel

Forget about the things you need to do

Forget about everything weighing you down

Forget about the things youíve lost or can never have

Hah-HA,Hee heeeerp, ho-ho

Hold your friends hand tight

Change the sound of your tone

Go high, go low

GHUH GUH GUH GUH nhee nhee nheeeeeeee

Donít open your eyes

Donít think too hard

Feel it coming

Itís there

Mmmmmh mmmmmh Hmhhmmmm hah HAH heee

Donít stop

Itís in you, right in your gut

Itís rising up, moving through you

Listen and release

Donít worry

Itís okay

Sometimes you laugh so hard

You have to cry

Jenni and I used to belly laugh, just like that. At first it would seem awkward but soon you're laughing for real, and then laughing so hard your abs hurt and you have tears rolling down your face. I hadn't thought of it in so long, but they are such a good memories. Jenni is the girlfriend I can be the goofiest with. She brings me back to being 6 years old a time when nothing you do is considered silly or "immature".

Aaron and I can be playful like that as well. I'm basically a dork, and I most cherish the people in my life who not only embrace my inner dork, but feel free to exhibit their own!

I guess the point of all this is that we should never forget to play. To make time for laughing. To make time for friends, even if we're tired at the end of a long day. It gets harder, the older we get, the more responsibilities we have. But if we don't have room for joy in our lives, really, what's the point?


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