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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 24: Laughter

Day 24
Hilly village lanes,
Whitwashed sunlit walls.
Cerulean sea.
The laughter of children.
- Ding Ming-Dao

Childhood is fleeting. I do not remember an age of innocence. What I do remember is an age of not understanding why people do what they do and why. When you are a child it is the only option. Dao considers childhood laughter an extension of a time without care and ample opportunity to play in a day. However, I think he relies on his own functional childhood when he writes such meditations and not of those who lived through early years in a disfunctional family life. It's not that children from these grayer layers of life don't laugh, it's just that they do it sometimes instead of letting the pain in their hearts cause the tears. It's only as the child grows and develops an understanding that the laughter turns to tears. How lovely it would be if we could all remember our childhoods in small villages with orange, yellow and bright blue hues.

The memories of  my childhood are shuffled, selected and scattered. The child that lives in me is the little girl who loved to play in the Pine Barren woodlands, swim in the cedar rivers and walk in the night without a flashlight at the YMCA Summer Camp. I can see a picture of me that was taken in Summer 1974 or 1975 when I'm 7-8 years old, arms crossed in front of me. I'm wearing a white t-shirt with a charactiture of Jimmy JJ Walker and written at the bottom is "Dynomite", denium shorts, a pair of suade maroon Adia sneakers with a white stripe down the sides and a blue and red cloth sun hat. I'm smiling while leaning my right shoulder agaist a painted totem pole that was planted in front of the Main Lodge. It reminds me that there was fun and laughter in my life, even when it's easier to remember the bad times. So, that little girl I described at summer camp is the source of the Tao for me, for without her living within me these past thirty-six years, the road to this point in my life would have been much more difficult.

Hold tight to the happy
child living somewhere
inside of you, for she
is infinitly laughing 
and smiling.

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