Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Laughter

Crying

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there’s life and there’s death
and stupid funny things
that don’t even matter
happening all the time
all at once
it’s no wonder
we don’t know
whether to laugh or cry
ecstasy and agony
pleasure and pain
not always discernible
one from the other
when they keep coming
again and again
amid the hilarity
of laughing to tears
the same tears
that are shed
in a sorrowful cry
in the darkest of hours
or bright light of day
on the razor’s edge
separating life and death
and all those stupid funny things
that don’t seem to matter

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Sadness

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sadness

Words on Images

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Far Away

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img_ip1886eThis feels so far away from home. Breakfast on the lanai by the pool in shorts and a t-shirt is so mind-bogglingly different from my normal routine that I feel like this is a dream. Well, it is a dream, actually. We are living the dream.

Besides power-lounging the day away, the most work I did involved figuring out how to connect Fred and Marie’s smart TV to the internet so they could watch shows on Amazon Prime, and then helping Fred put air in his bike tires.

He hadn’t ridden the bike for about 2 years, but Marie told him other visitors have been using the bikes every year. He wanted to take a little ride, so we just added some air and off he went.

When we next saw him again an hour or so later, he reported he had gone for a short bike ride followed by a long walk. His front tire had blown out. First, he reported noticing a ticking sound as the wheel turned round and round. Then it POPPED!img_ip1889e

Forensic analysis revealed a failure in the sidewall of the tire. The inner tube had ballooned out and was rubbing the brake with each revolution, until the rubber tube burst.

Turned out to be a pretty impressive level of activity for the guy turning 80 this weekend.

Otherwise, the afternoon became a blur of card games, napping, and floating in the pool. Cyndie served Barry and Carlos drinks by the pool.

Around dinner time, the surprises for Fred continued as Cyndie’s brother, Steve arrived. Then, after dessert had been served, her last brother, Ben appeared with his wife, Sara. The last secret had been revealed and the kids were all present.

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We sat around the table sharing life stories and lost our breath in laughter multiple times. Fred shared a memory of his 60th birthday when the kids all showed up for a surprise gathering on a ski vacation in the mountains out west. That year, they left spouses at home.

Cyndie and I have been married for 35 years and had dated off and on for 7 years before that, so I recognized plenty of the tales that were being recollected. Reliving the many stories reveals a weird combination of my being part of the family, but not being one of the family. I’m here, but I’m not as here here as they are, if that makes any sense.

One thing that is clear, we are noticeably far away from our home in Wisconsin right now.

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Written by johnwhays

January 20, 2017 at 7:00 am

Depression Podcast

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hilariousworlddepression328It’s unusual to consider depression something to be laughed at, but maybe laughing at it has some merit. I have discovered a new podcast from American Public Media hosted by humorist John Moe called, “The Hilarious World of Depression.” Through conversations with some nationally respected comedians who share tales of their own experiences with depression, Moe explores a link between the illness and comedy.

The show is sponsored by HealthPartners and its “Make It Okay” campaign. I have long been a fan of the idea that talking about mental health issues is a crucial step toward reducing the stigma normally associated with them.

Depression can be treated. I treat mine everyday. In fact, talking about my experiences is one of the methods I employ to treat my natural tendency toward a depressive mindset.

I think it’s a great thing when humor can be added to the topic that is uncomfortable for most people to discuss. Spread the word about this podcast to people you know. It’s okay to talk about mental illness.

Now we can even laugh at it, too.

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Written by johnwhays

December 16, 2016 at 7:00 am

Authentic Joy

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Lately, I have been thinking about the accuracy of memory, in particular, earliest memories. Many are augmented, or even supplanted by photographs we have from the past. I don’t actually remember some things that happened, I remember what it looked like from a picture I have repeatedly seen that depicts the moment.

I recently began tinkering with transferring some of our old home-videos from tape to a digital video file. I do remember this particular moment, but it would never be so genuinely presented if we hadn’t managed to capture the video of it. I’m so glad to have this to show my daughter, Elysa, the fun we had during the time before she can remember.

Written by johnwhays

April 24, 2011 at 8:32 am

Posted in Chronicle

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