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I enjoy laughing or chuckling or tittering or giggling or smiling.

Laughter provides evidence to myself that I am IN HERE…that I am conscious, attentive, engaged. Having a good laugh makes me feel a moment of optimism, a sense that I am more than a mere wandering, directionless soul.

When I go through the day unaware of my frown, my grimace, my tight gait, my tense composure, I arrive home doubly tired, stripped of creativity and joy.

Writing and performing and laughing force me to arise from myself and actually feel things. What can I do to help my audience or reader experience the same awakening that’s going on inside me?

I try different approaches. My stories dig a little, hopefully making you stop, look, listen, absorb the sheer pleasure of life.

What is it that’s going on that you don’t see but that you might find interesting or lovely if I could only find the words to spark you up?

What are the wisdoms you and I know deep down inside but suppress? Why do we wait for a poet or charismatic leader to show us what we already harbor?  Are you and I simply too timid, too unsure to explore ourselves?

Here’s an entry from my Red Clay Diary, rediscovered this morning and re-learned:

My clouded vision only becomes clear and precise when I spy the beauty of a chipped teacup, the history within a torn page, the telltale signs of life represented by a bent fork, the singular individualism of an ink smear.

Everywhere I look among the lockstep rows of identical doughnuts identical cutlery identical automobiles identical lampshades…everywhere I look, I look hard for the uniqueness of a tattered book binding, a leaning chair, an untucked shirttail, a crooked tooth, a skewed lope, a rusty spoke.

Everywhere I look I see the beauty of flaws…the flaws that remind me of the wonderful and mysterious imperfection of life.

I remember yesterday like it was yesterday.

Outside the shop, I see one man wrestling with a black/green umbrella in the wind. He finally gives up & walks with it by his side in the drenching rain.

Will he sing?

Will he laugh?

Will he awaken?

Or shall I simply report him to you and allow you to decide whether to smile


(c) Jim Reed 2017 A.D.

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