We live in a world of war, famine, injustice, genocide, homelessness, isolation, all manner of suffering….and here am I, grinding out funny little essays. At least I hope they’re funny. I actually don’t know why I write them. I don’t ask for the ideas, they just sort of roll down the right side of my brain, unasked for. They land in my consciousness with a dull thud, ready to be organized into blog-post format, tweaked and embellished, edited, proofread, and then published with a click of my mouse.
I’ve been writing pieces like this for years. I had some published in magazines long ago, before single working parenthood swallowed my life whole and I had no time for writing them. In those days I jotted ideas down wherever I happened to be, on whatever was available when they came to me. Menus, napkins, the backs of receipts and parking tickets, matchbooks (I smoked then), concert programs—whatever was made of paper that happened to be at hand. I still jot down ideas when they come to me, but in my iPhone notes. It’s not as much fun, actually.
Sometimes I feel guilty about my blog, like I’m wasting valuable time doing something totally unimportant. Something that doesn’t help solve the world’s problems. Usually I feel that way when I’m tired, stressed, and feeling generally down. But when I practice self-care—get some rest, take a walk, talk with a friend—I feel much better about my little blog.
Laughter, after all, is a healing thing. These days it gets a lot of respect from scientists and medical doctors. It’s all about endorphins. Laughter increases endorphins, which are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland. They’re the feel-good chemicals produced by the brain and have been proven to heal us both mentally and physically. When I visualize them they’re very cute. How can something called an endorphin not be cute? I see tiny pot-bellied creatures wearing bikinis, with corkscrew antennae and hair like Art Garfunkel, multiplying exponentially and spinning faster and faster as the human host’s laughter increases. Realizing that, I no longer feel superfluous, like I’m not doing anything useful. I’m performing a public service, improving my readers’ health. That’s you! So I’ll just write on, and I hope you’ll read on.