When The Joke Isn’t Funny

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Life’s a joke. It certainly isn’t funny. But, more specifically, I’ve noticed how pain (mostly physical pain, but emotional pain, as well) affects my sense of humour. It puts a rather large dent in my ability to “take a joke”.

In regards to emotional pain, when there’s a sensitive issue, an insensitive person, believing themselves to be funny, can reduce me to a quivering mass of tears.

Today, I overheard an obtuse and insensitive family member tease my son, joking that he should be sent to National Service until he learns to do as he’s told.

My son’s chronic disobedience is a problem, yes. But, saying this to my 7 year old boy made him very upset. He didn’t find anything funny about it. And, a sensitive and observant person who claims to love my son should know that he fears being “sent away” from home. To him, this was a nightmare, not a joke. So, then, not only was my son terrified by the scenario he couldn’t see as funny, he was then further berated for not being able to take a joke.

Now, if someone looking from the outside only saw this one situation, you might assume my son doesn’t have much of a sense of humour. But, you would be sooooo wrong.

We call him “the funny dude” for a reason. He has had, from a very early age, a grasp on comedy and a highly developed ability to see and share the hilarious. He IS a FUNNY dude. He can make AND take a joke. However, he has a sensitivity (and anxiety) when it comes to the idea that his dad and I wouldn’t be there; a fear that he’s going to be “sent away”. He doesn’t want to contemplate it. There’s no logical reason for him to be scared that we would send him away, but that’s the thing about anxieties and phobias: they don’t follow your bloody reasoning and logic.

The thing is, if there is a raw spot or pain somewhere, the joke (no matter how you see it from your perspective) is not going to be seen as a joke to me or, now I can see, my boy. We will see it as a threat. It is either YOUR threat. Or it is Life’s threat. And, it – Life – has chosen you, you bastard, as its mouthpiece. Life is shit enough without you being an arsehole and causing added trauma.

I believe my boy will grow out of this sensitivity as he gets older and realises that being “sent away” just isn’t going to happen. And, I want him to behave, of course. I want a lot of things for myself in the way of self-improvement. But, your arsehole therapy is NOT going to get us there. Laughter is very good medicine, but it only works to heal us if we’re the ones who are laughing.

Why is there an owl picture with this post? I wanted something cute and cuddly to look at while I ranted.

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Waiting

When I was little, my grandmother owned a booked the title of which intrigued me greatly. The name of the book was The Owl Called My Name. Curious about the story within the pages, there was a day when I asked her about the book. She told me that there was an ancient Native American belief that held if a person ever heard an owl call their name it meant they were going to die. The book was based upon this mythology.

I never read the book. I cannot tell you why. The title, however, has always stayed with me, never ceasing to speak to me.

I’m very honest about my longing for death. If you’ve read very many of my posts, you’re used to me sharing this about myself. I’ve always been waiting to hear the owl call my name. I’m still waiting.

What do I do while I wait? Well, you know, one of the things I do is write songs; I sing, I make music.

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It was inevitable that I would eventually write this song. Today’s the day I’ve chosen to share it with the world… something to do while I wait.

Some, I know, won’t like it or “get” it at all. For the rest of you – you who are with me in the waiting room of life – this is an anthem of the waiting, aching soul; it is my story…my story then, my story now…my story until I hear…well, you know.