1. Did not get rid of the Wordpress widget on my android phone. I tend to think that there are some who really like those reports of my daily activities, while I'm actually doing them. So the application stays.
2. I've been thinking about the sign off at the end of my articles. For the more serious people, who mainly read my "Daily Life" series. I'm not sure that a funny sign off is appropriate. I mean Some people when they read blogs or journals, pretty much want what Aileen tells me, and used to say all the time. "just the facts".
Then there are others, like me, who do enjoy that wonderful rareness in humanity. When humor becomes pretty much over the top. Like "I'm slamming the ground like a drunken squirrel".
So, for the more serious in the group, when I'm writing in the "Daily Life" series. I'll forego the sign off.
When it comes to the rest of my articles. Well, let's face it. For anyone who thinks that our world is not totally like a frog who just drank a fifth of scotch whisky, and then proceeds to light up a smoke. Wherein the entire swamp blows up. Please go to the back of the classroom to that special section marked "You left your humor here".
I've always felt that if couldn't laugh at myself, that the rest of the world would be me to it. So. I have always tried to be first in line on that score.
So.... as they say in the textile mills of the world...
I've decided that "all" of my other types of journal entries, other than the ones where I am talking with, or about Aileen. And the Daily Life project. That all bets are off. Which means I'll just keep coming up with various ways to express the sedate and calmness of my life.
Like... I'm out swimming naked in the swamp with 100 hungry alligators, and having the time of my life. Or what's left of it.
On the serious side the reality is simple. It's been two years since my beloved wife, Aileen died horribly of liver cancer. And during the first three months, the grief was so bad. That I decided that if couldn't find something to laugh about, that I was going to run down the street tearing my clothes off and pretending that I was Copernicus! So I had to come up with a way to laugh. Because the first thought I have every single morning, and the last one that I have ever night is. "She's still dead.".
So I had to find laughter.
What happened was that I came up with a new way to tell people how I was when they ask, as I am out and about. They say how are you? And I say one of two things.
1. Well, when I wake up. I figure either I got lucky, or He missed!
And they start laughing of course. And I say. Well, when I wake up. I look up at God and say. Hey. Look. Put the beer down. Stop fighting with the old lady. Pick up the gun. And take a shot! come on! I'll walk slow so you don't miss.
2. I say, I'm alive. Cause I checked just about 5 minutes ago. And the damn thing is still running!
And again. They laugh.
Laughter. In the midst of some rather dark stuff. There's at least some laughter. People only have to go to blogger and read my first two journals before Bitter Harvest, to see how dark things were after Aileen died. I don't want to go into details. It took me 2 and half years of pretty much hell, to get to a point where I could "celebrate" her. And to break free of my grief enough to feel like I'm at least alive. Maybe alive only as much as 100 birds who just got blown up but an escaped lunatic from some mental ward, driving a bus load of nuns into mountain canyon filled with hungry mountain lions. And then suddenly running out of gas...
But, I'm alive. And trying to live. It may not be the best way. It may not be how others "think" I should live my life. But the old man, that which I call, my creator, and I have an agreement. He doesn't tell me how to live my life. And I don't tell him how to run the world.
Besides, I've always believed that if he really gets pissed off at me. I'll wake up some morning and find 100 hungry baboons in my living room, with forks. And they ain't going to be there for my hotcakes and maple syrup.
So I do the best I can.
I've written for about 40 years on the subject of human rights. I've tried just about every kind of argument to get people's attention. And usually all I got was either, ignored. Or a bill in the mail for some magazine I never ordered. So, when I finally broke free of my grief. I thought that one of the promises that I made to Aileen, is one of the promises that I did not write on our list of promises I would keep. Which was...
to carry on.
To carry on. Which refers to our sense of humor. To our love of laughter. To our love of the ridiculous. For Aileen's life was truly tragic. This is neither the time nor place to go into it. But her life was full of tremendous sorrow. So we spent every single night, one way or the other, looking for, and engaging in, laughter.
So, when I finally broke free of my grief, Aileen came to me in a dream, like she always does. And all she said was, "so where's the laughter?"
No one falls in love as much as we did, or are, without understanding what subtle things, phrases, like that mean.
She was telling me that it was fine that I had developed those phrases to answer people when they ask how I am. But she was also saying that those phrases were not letting me really laugh or find laughter.
In another dream we were having an argument. Where I told her that I didn't know what to say when they asked me about my wife. And she said this.
"simply tell them that your house maid was your wife. And you gave her so much work to do that she dropped dead."
To which I said, Hey you know you're like nuts. Right?
She said, Doesn't count anymore.
She always did have an out.
So anyhow. I need laughter in my life. I have to have laughter in my life. My own life has a lot of darkness and sorrow. Again, this is neither the time nor the place to go into that. But my journal is filled with my conflicts and my arguments with myself.
Suffice to say, I have to have laughter. So, I make up jokes. Jokes about all sorts of things. Because my reality is, no matter where I go in this house, or what I do. She's still dead. And nothing I can do will ever bring her back to me. Other than some unexplained process, that I have talked to over 50 scientists to, and over a dozen different religious people to. And none of them doubts that Aileen is here, and all around me. And none of them can explain how or why.
So for the rest of my life I can live in misery, always wanting to hold her. And not appreciating the fact that every single night, through some unknown way, she comes to me. When I am in meditation, and when I am asleep and dreaming. Sometimes when I'm doing something, I'll hear her pop off.
So either I laugh. Or I spend the rest of my life, in real darkness. And I'm not prepared to live my life that way.
So I make jokes. Probably most people don't like or get my jokes. But it's helping me to deal with the hardest loss of my entire life. It's helping me to find a way to keep going forward when I am usually so exhausted that I sometime pass out right in the chair while I'm typing or dictating. It's helping me to celebrate not only the brilliance of my wife. And her strength and her tremendous courage in the face of unbeatable odds. But it's helping me to remember that other part. All those nights we spent together for 18 amazing years when we laughed so hard at things, either on TV or in real life, that we often came to tears we were laughing so hard. And loving it, and each other so much. That part. That single part of our lives together that reminds me to this very day. The one sound I loved the most that she made, other than when she played her cello for me. Was her laughter.
So I tell jokes. I laugh. And when I laugh. I keep on laughing. I laugh just the way we laughed. Till tears come. Because it's so funny. Because that's how we saw life in so many ways. So very funny. With some of the stuff we humans do.
And that one small thing. That laughter keeps me going. It gives me the strength to get up in the morning. To fight my way through night mares. Through the darkness and the sadness. to the point where I can feel her close to me. I can hear her laughter. Because in my heart and mind. I feel she can hear mine. If I chose to do it. To laugh.
So forgive me for my sense of humor. Forgive me for my jokes. Please just know, no matter what. I am truly trying to do the best I can, as a writer. As a human rights advocate. As a friend to my fellow man and woman. But without laughter. I'll get lost. Lost in all that darkness. Of how badly I miss her. How badly I want to hold her. How much it tore me apart having to watch her die.
So I tell jokes. If you find them funny. Then that's a good thing. Because that's what Aileen and did. We took some of the most serious stuff in the world. And because it was dark and tough to deal with. We looked for something in that was funny. Because as she always used to say, and teach me. There's laughter in all that is, regardless of how sad or tragic. And while we never laughed at the misfortune of anyone. Nor did we laugh at anyone's pain. We would look at something very dark. And then project it into something not involving the person or the people involved. so that we would then create something funny. Because after you have cried all you can about a certain sadness. You get to a point where you need that laughter. That ability to feel the humor of your soul and life.
You have seen my journal entries. There are stories where all I can say, is how much my heart and prayers go out to those involved. And then there are other posts where I come up with laughter. Because without her. Without my darling Leen in the world physically. The sound of laughter is the one sound I want to never stop hearing.
So please forgive me for my sense of humor. My need to laugh. But hopefully if you have read this far. You'll understand why I need to laugh.
I'll see you later cause I'm being chased by an angry mob of munchkins because I stole Dorothy's red shoes....
Lord! Feet don't fail me now...