Tears and Laughter

Meditation by Rev. Diane Rollert, 10 January 2016

Oh Spirit of Tears and Laughter,
when are we free to laugh?
When are we free to cry?
Both address our joy and our pain:
tears of joy filling our eyes;
tears of pain filling our hearts;
tears of relief washing away
what needs to be washed away,
tears of laughter falling down our cheeks.

Laughter becomes something
that creates connection,
or exclusion.
We laugh together,
we laugh at,
we laugh nervously,
we laugh cruelly,
or we laugh with mirth,
like a laughing Buddha
who simply laughs
to be present,
to recognize this place we hold
between living and dying.

For a moment,
beyond all sense
of why something seems funny,
all that exists is the laughter,
the physical shaking, releasing,
sounds of laughter that are uniquely ours,
a ringing out into the silence
of our lives,
a gift like no other,
as precious as tears,
as essential as breath.

How do we learn to act upon our tears
and our laughter?
How do we learn when to be serious
and when to let go and laugh?

May we find ways to build bridges
that connect us to each other,  
that are strong enough
to withstand the raining tears,
and flexible enough to move
with the laughing wind.