the best medicine

by bkajlich

I’m trying to get a good dose of the best medicine going right now as my computer just ate my entire post. Lost and gone. Let’s see if I can remember half of what I wrote, hell maybe this one will be even better….

My brother has a steadfast rule when it comes to jokes about his status as an amputee… they have to be funny. After that it’s no holds barred. Hours after my family arrived in Prague it became apparent how much our joint sense of humor was going to carry us through this thing.(click here for our story) My mother was on the phone with family in Sweden that had been expecting my brother to stay with them for Christmas.  My Aunt, still reeling from what had happened, wailed to my mom “We bought him presents!! We bought him a hat, and a scarf, and gloves!!”. To which my mom replied “well…. at least you didn’t buy him shoes.”  A moment of shocked silence passed between us before we all burst into peals of laughter.  My mom had given us a gift. The gift of a release, the gift of a sense of normalcy. The feeling that if we could still find it within ourselves to laugh together… then maybe we were all going to be okay. Even my bro.

It has been proven that laughter is just as much a medicine for the body as it is a remedy for the soul. It elevates endorphins and decreases stress hormones.  It produces antibodies and strengthens the immune system.  It boosts pain thresholds and is even a good workout for your heart.  In my meditation class we have an exercise where we sit in a circle and begin to laugh, even if it is a fake one.  By the end of the sit, everyone is laughing so hard they are crying… It is simply impossible to be surrounded by that much laughter and not join in wholeheartedly.

Last night I was invited over to a friends house for some ice cream.(yes, that’s all it takes… mention dessert, and in a trancelike state I will follow you anywhere).  The group is several people that I know on a casual level… I know enough to want to hang… but not so much that I’ve been scared away…. yet.  And then it happened. The night became one of those that will go down in permanent marker on my very selective lists of nights I will never forget.

It was in one cheesy magnanimous word; magical.

Sometimes there is just something in the air that brings a group of people together for the right reasons, at the right moment, with just the right ingredients to induce gales of gutbusting, raucous, nonstop, like-we-were-kids-again bouts of  purely delicious, delectable LAUGHTER.

It didn’t stop.

Not even at FOUR in the freaking morning.

It was not induced by alcohol, drugs or mental instability(well, no more than the average actor in LA).  I can’t even share with you the moments that defined it because a) it would be a disservice to the spirit of the evening to out such moments of inspired silliness. and b.) written in bold in the light of day, these incidences would probably have you questioning the above remark about the night’s lack of mental instability.

so we will leave it at magical. how’s that?

It brings to mind nights spent at the Radwick household in my grade school years. Nights that did not, would not end. Copious amounts of junk food inhaled, secrets shared… our larger than life shadows dancing in the lamplight behind us upon the walls as we dreamed what someday would look like and if John Enslow would ever notice the pool-worthy amount of drool on my desk dedicated in his honor. Laughter like only kids in the wee hours can drum up… the sense of comfort and safety of grade school bffs. Pinkie swears, origami fortunes, secret handshakes and code names, blood sisters and brothers.  I love and miss it all.

Nietzsche said that he believed he knew why it is man alone who laughs… because he suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.

I say, that I am willing to go through every bit of the bad stuff to get to the joyous cackles on the other side.

As I sit, as I breathe, as I learn more about what transpires in the space in between… I realize that this journey is truly a masterpiece… and the only path, is the one paved with laughter.

Thank you to my dear GOA crew.  Last night meant more to me than you will ever know.

Lube it at the door.  xxb