Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When it gets really bad...

When it gets really bad, they finally start laughing…

I know someone in divorce hell right now.  And I have learned that when he’s especially jovial, I mean really jovial, things are at their worst. I used to ask what’s going on that he’s so happy.  The answer threw me off at first.  He would then get very serious and recount the latest version of court drama he’d just been through over custody issues.  When he’s the exceptional clown, things are so bad he’s just got to laugh.  Laughter is his antidote.

For some people this is what it takes to laugh.  Situations that need the medicine of laughter.

Photo:  Stock.xchnge

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I have a theory that Rossini was Mozart reincarnated.

It’s not just his effortless genius.  Rossini could compose a masterpiece of an opera in a matter of two weeks!!!  But it’s his extreme sense of fun!  Rossini is pure fun!

Fresh from my recent experience of Seattle Opera’s La Cenerentola (Rossini’s version of Cinderella in opera form), my head, my ears, my heart is full of his delightful comedy expressed through the amazing score of this piece and one stellar production.

Rossini loves to do these delightfully silly ensembles when everyone in the opera is completely confused.  The music hesitates throughout – called clockwork ensembles or patter singing.  And then moves from soft and slower to louder and louder and faster and faster – i.e. his signature crescendos.

He makes a baffoon of the less-than-wonderful stepfather – both in his name (Don Magnifico – for he thinks he is, but everyone knows he isn’t) and in his music.  He is the only character who actually sings an aria with no melody*.  As our opera lecturer explained, only Rossini could do this.  The gauche stepsisters sing gauche music.  No one does gauche better than Rossini*

Dandini, the Prince’s valet, has the time of his life, disguised as the Prince.  This is his one and only chance at Princedom and he’s milking it for all it’s worth.  Just hilarious.  And the chorus reinforces the comedy throughout the opera.

If you’re up for a break from the usual gruesome drama of opera with all its love, death, betrayal and often horrific story lines, check out Rossini’s operas.  They are pure delight.  And even bless us with a happy ending. 

(*I get this wisdom from the lectures of our local opera expert.)

Photo:  Seattle Opera’s current whimsical production of La Cenerentola (Cinderella)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Seniors laughing

Making the seniors laugh  - with laughter yoga...  It's a laughter exercise routine!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Joy Luck Club

Amy Tan’s words in the book The Joy Luck Club:

“O! Hwai dungsyi, you bad little thing”, said the woman teasing her baby granddaughter.  “Is Buddha teaching you to laugh for no reason?”  As the baby continued to gurgle, the woman felt a deep wish stirring in her heart.

“Even if I could live forever,” she said to the baby, “I still don’t know which way I would teach you.  I was once so free and innocent.  I too laughed for no reason.

“But later I threw away my foolish innocence to protect myself.  And then I taught my daughter, your mother, to shad her innocence so she would not be hurt as well.”

“Hwai dungsyi, was this kind of thinking wrong?  If I now recognize evil in other people, is it not because I have become evil too?  If I see someone has a suspicious nose, have I not smelled the same bad things?”

The baby laughed, listening to her grandmother’s laments.

“O! O! You say you are laughing because you have already lived forever, over and over again?  You say you are Syi Wang Mu, Queen Mother of the Western Skies, now come back to give me the answer!  Good, good, I am listening….

“Thank you, Little Queen.  Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson.  How to lose your innocence but not your hope.  How to laugh forever.”

Photo:  Stock.xchnge

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hepburn Quote

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.”

- Audrey Hepburn

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Happiness is at the root of our nation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident:  that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are  life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

from the Declaration of Independence

photo:  Stock.xchnge

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Laughing Eyes

They tell my friend Sandy that she has “laughing eyes”.  I agree.  They told me once that when I lead laughter sessions, the laughter goes up into my eyes.  When someone laughs with genuine joy, you can see it in the eyes – it’s the way they crinkle.  Laugh lines develop over time around our eyes.

Is there a connection between laughter and the eyes?

My new hair dresser, who practices something called Hair Syntony or hair balancing, advises me to thin out my bangs so we can see more of my face, so we can see more of my eyes.  The window to the soul.  As we’ve always heard.

Laughter is also a window to the soul.  So perhaps there’s the connection.  You can see it in the eyes – laughing eyes.  Like my friend Sandy.  Who laughs much and laughs well.

Photo:  Stock.xchnge