My wife the poet put beauty to paper with her recent verse. This past weekend, I asked her to recite it for me, twice. I read the piece to a few friends last night, and one friend, Raul, said, "That comes from the heart of an empowered woman." Indeed.
Amid the many lines begging to be savored, she speaks of the invitation to "hear the sound of your own laughter." To listen for someone else's laughter is to delight in them, to take pleasure in their joy and their happiness. I have a friend named Tom whose deep belly guffaw is unmistakable, and it is one of the many things I love about him. When I haven't heard Tom's raucous joy in a while, I miss it.
However, to listen for my own laughter is to take delight in my joy and happiness, to know that anyone who doesn't revel in her own joy can't truly revel in another's. Watching for my own laughter is to refuse sour spirituality and the false religion of self-flagellation and to believe that God is kind and generous, leaning forward, ready to grin and join the fun — God eager to hear me the way I'm eager to hear Tom.