Friday, January 9, 2015

Laugh Therapy

Who was it many, many years ago who was very ill in the hospital, who then discovered that watching TV comedy shows was the medicine that made him well?  I think I read it in a Reader's Digest and I know I haven't read a Reader's Digest (not even a  doctor's waiting room) for at least 35 or 40 years.  Laughter does wonderful things to the brain chemistry and apparently to the body chemistry too. Oh, I remember, his name was Norman Cousins.

A newish writing group to which I belong kind of whittled down from 12 to 6 members at the end of summer, has proved to be both a welcome, sometimes challenging, writing assignment every two weeks, but also a laughter-as-therapy session.  We are not deeply seious writers trying to help one another produce publication worthy stories and essays.  We write for the love of putting words together, not always on the prompt but always for the pleasure of writing itself.  Before, during and after taking turns reading our work, we talk. So what else is new? Six women sharing, sometimes joking, very often laughing.

I leave feeling refreshed and "up" -- not from compliments about my wonderful writing -- we all enjoy each other's writing. We don't criticize, that's not the intent. The exercise of putting something on paper, or computer or IPad, making a form in which to tell a story, whether true or fiction, is a personal release and a discipline of a congenial sort. I came away yesterday thinking to myself,  here it is 2015 -- a year I once could not imagine living in. Once 2000 seems an impossible goal.  Yet some of the very best years of my life have occurred since 2000.  It sounds a bit silly to say I think I was always growing into being a mature woman. And now that I'm there, I see only more possibilities ahead of me. I expect to do a lot of laughing along the road ahead.

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