In my line of work (health care) one sees a lot of “black” humour. It is the kind of humour that civilians, for lack of a better term, should likely never hear. It can be wildly inappropriate and can cross the line for sure. I have been thinking though, of why it exists and what purpose it may have for those of us who tend to rely on it.
Humour does a number of things. It can distance us from the just plain “awfulness” of what can be in front of us, the suffering of others. It can provide a common language between team members, that is a big one. My team certainly bonds over humour. It can provide a barrier when one does not wish to be vulnerable. It does all these and more. And sometimes it is just wicked funny, life can be so very, very absurd.
I can’t say there are a lot of fibre people in my immediate vicinity, particularly at work. A couple of people have looked at the handmade and sighed a little, their fingers touching the yarn, asking me how I “loomed” a particular item. For some reason that is the word a lot of people use, whether it be in response to the knitted or the woven. But there is a response. And I might make a little joke. Recently I warned my colleagues that if I show up wearing a cowl, a sweater, handmade socks and two pairs of gloves and a hat that they should be very gentle with me. The handmade is a source of comfort, and if it is needed at that level – well look out! (Neutral is wearing only knitted socks. Kind of like the system they use in national forests for the fire danger. Knitted socks = low risk of forest fire.)
It is good to always have an item in the finished bin. That is becoming very clear. A number of people in the vicinity are having severe difficulty. The kind where you can only offer sympathy, a cup of tea, an ear. And maybe a pair of socks, or a scarf on short notice. In my practice tradition we call this kind of offering, when it is done in meditation and beyond, the offering of merit. That whatever good that comes from our actions be offered to others. Really, it is a sincere wish that “all will be well” without attached ideas of what “well” really is. A sincere wish that suffering be eased. (Socks not required)
I was going to go all “deep” and put a picture of yet another soaring mountain vista. This came to mind instead. This piece of art (???) is about twenty feet high. She resides, with flood lights to illuminate her at night, on the expansive stretch of desert near Death Valley. I asked, I really did but the staff at the casino nearby, (the only building for miles by the way) just told me that the owner “used to have a cow.”