Yesterday I heard a radio DJ talking about a creative kind of "concert." There is a troup of daring folks who tour the country hosting events in which they present on stage readings of poetry. In these events, the performers read their own poetry, written when they were teenagers. They read their own poetry, or prose, and sing the songs they wrote, and they invite the audience to join them in laughing at themselves. It sounds like a riot.
To make it more engaging, they invite the audience to bring their own teenage creative works and share them from the stage. Every evening presents fresh, raw insights into human nature and the angst of teenage-hood.
I wish I could remember more of my teenage thoughts. I will have to look through my old journals, dating back to probably age 17; before that, I don't think I wrote down anything but school assignments. (And some of those make me laugh, too.) If I did write anything, I'm sure it's a hoot.
In the teen years, everything seems so intense; every turn of events feels like life or death (OK, especially for the girls). In a few years, those turns of fate look like the turning of the leaves--no big deal, bound to happen. And we can laugh at ourselves.
So, at the end of our lives, or even in heaven, I wonder what we will look back on and laugh.
I cared about that job? I wanted to buy that car? I fretted over that bill? I let that criticism bother me? I thought that mistake would wreck my life? I worried over that tragedy that never happened? I stayed up all night to prepare for that meeting?
I want to go ahead and laugh now.