Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with leading you on a meandering tour of the virtual garden of delights and curiosities and thoughts that make up my world – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words.
D is for..
daffing: (noun) A Scottish word meaning fun, merriment.
Anne Lamott has said: “Laughter is carbonated holiness.”
I love that sentiment. I admit I find a great many things amusing and delightful; and in truth, it especially pleases me that I can hold this perspective, as I was once a very solemn and fearful child. Now laughter is second nature, and you’ll often find me saying I’m committed to keeping my feet on the joy trail.
Humor is such a personal thing though isn’t it? I find it fascinating how different we all, and what our individual inclinations are. For instance, I don’t much like physical comedy, but wordplay makes my heart happy. My brother can invariably elicit laughter in me so extreme I’m often gasping and crying, and we have to resort to not looking at each other so we don’t set one another off again, all the while our respective partners roll their eyes indulgently.
But fun and merriment isn’t entirely tethered to laughter. One of the things I’m really appreciating is how collectively in this time of global isolation and shelter-in-place orders, how we’re all navigating and evolving the ways we manage to have fun. For families with kids, this can be particularly challenging, but it genuinely fills my heart to see how people are stepping forward, offering help, generating ideas, reading stories to one another, facilitating art lessons, There is no doubt these are difficult times, on so many levels, for so many people, and yet I can’t help but celebrate how much kindness is circulating.
I confess I particularly like this admonishment from the late poet Jack Gilbert. It seems especially apt for these times.
“We must risk delight . . . We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world. To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil. We must admit there will be music despite everything.”
So I offer kudos to those who can hold merriment, who can hold space for fun, who can find things to laugh about, and who can generate smiles. No one has to do it full time – we only need remember we’re living in the beautiful possibility of reciprocity – a cycle of giving and receiving. We need each other, and we need laughter as much as we need tears. We need strength and comfort at times, just as we can be the ones offering that at other times.
So what about you? Are you finding your way to fun and merriment? Have something amusing to share? Do tell – you know I love to hear.