I hope you enjoy this recording of Chapter 17, Cackle, and that it makes you laugh as it does me, every time I listen...
Cackle is anti-delusional because it recognizes that we don’t know. All human innovation is about making something different…and better. Betty wanted a different life than that of her foremothers. She chose a very different path from her peers. Who knows in the trenches of creation what the outcome of our decisions (or delusions) will be over time?
Different might be better—or, possibly, disaster.
We gather data, research known facts, do opinion surveys, but it’s all just a weather report filtered through the cultural corsets du jour. We find out by playing it out. We find out by doing it anyway. At worst, we will have eliminated a regret at the end of life, or perhaps, played out a better probability. We may even evolve—it’s no sure thing.
Cackle is a powerful rule because it infers the road-tested (but still mysterious) wisdom of letting go of the outcome. Cackle is about doing it anyway. There is a non-obvious courage innate in this rule. It is about doing the next right thing, no matter the worries in my soup of decision-making ingredients. I am reticent to quote the wisdom of G. Fred No. 2 but his adage is in the scheme of wanting different: “Do something, damn it, even if it is wrong.” It has courage. At some we must step out in faith for something or someone—maybe even ourselves.
Cackle is about stepping out with a little seed of faith in yourself to take your next right step. Cackle is about planting and tending your seeds even if you find yourself watering them on the edge of the known, in the iblical wildernesswhere we have forgotten who we are.
Yesterday, I visited Albertina. She is 107, in hospice and living on the love of (and for) her visitors and family. I sat with her andmostly listened for a couple of hours. complain God (That afternoon she was still having a lover’s quarrel with Him…for his very poor worldly management skills) and the uneven care at her assisted living facility. I listened and mirrored what she was saying to let her know she was heard. (Such are the superpowers of a friend.) She was laughing so hard when I left, at herself and the world, that she cried. She got there by herself but I shared the moment with her. Her face was practically skeletal at this point--and so lovely.
"Laughter is carbonated holiness: " - Anne Lamont
IF ANNE LAMOTT COULD HAVE SEEN ALBERTINA’S FACE JUST THEN, she would have seen a ‘carbonated holiness’ there. Albertina forgave God that afternoon for his mismanagement, and simply bubbled up with what was right in front of her—even confined to her bed. She was effervescent.
CACKLING IS ABOUT INVITING IN THE HAPPY MOMENT--TOGETHERwith found family (or whoever shows up in love). Be Willing is that renewable centenarian rule about making community with people who are reciprocal in relationship—allowing love to show up for you and how you show up for love.
CALL UP THE “EVIL” QUEEN (IN YOUR GRIEVANCE STORY DU JOUR). Say you’re buying dinner. Laugh until you’re both snorting.
I AM ON THE HUNT FOR MORE AND SUSTAINABLE JOY. AT THIS POINT, gratefully, I know it hides everywhere (in the mitochondria of being)...but it’s a cosmic crapshoot to find it from my unknown. A JOYFUL CACKLE WITH FRIENDS IS THE BEST OF NAVIGATORS.
"I read it all night. It was funny and useful." - A.W.