Cheer Yourself Along — A poem

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“Foot loose” by magnusfranklin is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Cheer Yourself Along

Cheer is Closer Than You Think

By Jane Tawel

March 20, 2020

 

I’m in the mood to write a ditty,

About our need for staying witty,

And in this time of deadly virus,

We need to keep our hopes and eyes up.

For finding laughter, look within,

And with some help, keep up your chin.

 

I told myself, just this past morning,

That this dark time can be a warning,

And when I’m biting on my knuckles,

I still can find some good hard chuckles.

A wise sage, (though not Edison),

Once told us– joy’s good medicine.

For what the doctor orders after,

A case of fear? — is good, hard laughter.

 

So, look around and if you’re down,

Then force yourself to be a clown.

Just pull a prank or tell a joke,

And even if there are no folk,

To laugh with you or clap or boo,

Your grins will do,

For you, yourself, and you.

 

And so today I told myself,

That even with the empty shelves,

And though the days will get much harder,

Before we can refill our larders,

There’s something I can do today,

To make my grumpies go away.

I won’t inflict my need for solace,

By hoarding stuff or being lawless.

I won’t think I need people more

Than I need to remain indoors.

And if I can’t watch one more show,

I’ll think “How humorous is the toe.”

And gazing at my foot’s protuberance,

I’ll manufacture some exuberance.

Perhaps I’ll find a shower cap —

that’s always good for a hard laugh.

Cuz hope is just a laugh away,

And glee can keep our fears at bay.

 

 

Whatever you can find that’s silly,

Is the best way, and I mean, really.

To take your hardships and your lumps,

And get us past this viral bump,

You’ve gotta give yourself good care,

So with yourself, please, a laugh share.

 

And while pandemics are quite serious,

It is okay to be delirious.

With just a bit of humor, friends,

You’ll change the color of your lens,

And see that after this dark storm,

Ahead a rainbow soon will form.

 

Today I feared I’d lose the fight,

‘Gainst sadness, loneliness and fright,

 I could not find my inner comic,

To ease life’s dangers anatomic.

 

 

I put my hands around my head,

And to myself, I firmly said:

“You have and always, will, my dear,

Be your best source for finding cheer.

So even though you’re all alone,

And stuck with sheltering in your home,

Instead of outwards, look much nearer,

And find a good laugh in your mirror.”

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Hang in there, y’all. Be strong enough to take others’ health seriously.  Be brave enough to let yourself still love your very own life.  And find joy in the journey – if you can’t find it right now, look for it around the bend, maybe by letting yourself have a good chuckle. Life is good, even now.

Shalom,  Jane

 

Puppets Need Laughter to Be Real Humans

 

 

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“Disneyland, Pinochio” by gigi4791 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

 

Puppets Need Laughter to Be Real Humans

By Jane Tawel

November 14, 2019

 

Every once in a while I simply can’t wait around for humor to find me.  I have to manufacture some myself.  Otherwise it is all just too much, isn’t it?  Below is my latest poetic ditty in an attempt to tickle my own funny bone.

 

I wrote this little silly poem on my half hour lunch break yesterday at my latest temporary gig in an office.  I have developed a new empathy for people who spend their lives at mind-numbingly boring, dull, unfulfilling jobs because they like to eat, have a roof, and clothe their children, all by slaving for one measly, inadequate paycheck at a time.  Yesterday, the cat (boss) was away, and the “mice” began to play a bit, while still accomplishing the work they do day after day after day after day, work that has no personal fulfillment for themselves, only for other people.  A small group of those who sit in the completely silent large, sterile room, like computer chained prisoners, began to come alive. I sat at my separate temp-worker desk (temp workers are both temporary saviors and pariahs),  and I listened in wonderment to people I thought I understood after two weeks on the job. I was secretly and joyfully astounded, and felt much like Geppetto must have felt when wooden puppets became a real boys and girls. The otherwise surly or silent began to share little jokes and stories with each other. They laughed, they teased, and the otherwise meaningless, joyless, slavish work suddenly had a new meaning, because for a small moment, they had other real, live happy, caring people who were working alongside them.

 

I encourage you to find something today, if you can, that tickles you to smile, giggle and when possible laugh loud and long. If you are a little worker-bee today, find a fellow worker-bee, and share a moment – show them a picture of your silly kid, memorize a new joke, laugh at what you brought for your lunch today.  If you are a person with power, like a CEO, or manager, or teacher, or parent, I know you fear the happiness and silliness and joy of those you oversee. I know you think it will make them work less, focus less, accomplish less. All I can tell you, is, it won’t, but to believe that, you may need to learn how to do the most freeing thing of all. You may need to learn to laugh, and if you can laugh at yourself, then others will not be so tempted to laugh at you behind your back.  You may find you are laughing and enjoying your day along with all the rest of us.

 

Ode to Joy, Not by Beethoven

By Jane Tawel

A recent need to be silly,

Due to having the world-weary willies,

About what I fear

In the world far and near,

Made me get out my pen and smirk, “Really?

Oh, you silly, Jane,

You are sometimes so vain,

And you really should not gild your lily!”

But due to my sense of great sadness,

Which often leads daily to madness,

I relate, some, to you,

And the trials you go through,

As we struggle through goodness and badness.

 

So, let’s giggle and wiggle our shoe-clad, sore toes-es,

Let’s tickle our fancies and tickle our noses,

Let’s pull each one’s legs,

And eat green ham and eggs,

And when you feel low,

Well, Hey, Pal, don’t cha’ know,

We are in this together.

So, let’s fight and let’s weather

The storms of this life,

The fears, and the strife,

And down we will knuckle,

Ourselves – to just chuckle.

Let’s laugh, now and then,

And then even when,

Life seems ever so dreary,

We will promise that merely,

Not a day will go by,

When we at least do not try,

To fight all this crappiness,

With a wee bit of happiness.

 

Oh, sing, Ode to Joy!

Share a joke, make a toy,

Of the chains that enslave,

And you’ll soon feel quite brave.

 

For Goodness is not just in suffering,

But sometimes is found in the muffling,

Of the anger and sorrow,

And fears for tomorrow,

By stifling it all with hard chuckling.

Get back up, and just do it,

With panache or wry wit,

With a giggle or joke,

And throw off the hard yoke.

Oh, yes, laugh! Ode to Play!

And then, have a truly “Good” day.