Friday, April 30, 2010

Numen - the healing power of plants and the natural world

This was posted on my Face Book account by the Mt. Rose Herb folks.  The trailer is 10 minutes long, and after viewing it, I promptly ordered my own copy of it.

I hope you enjoy it and find it as fascinating as I did.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

For Dakota and his mom


of the old pretend
I know
where you go
when the moonlight
in the trees
and the trees come alive
in the night.
I followed you
and saw
old branches
lift and gesture
in a winter-dance
in that forgotten

your sly smile
lit the dark
where no life grieves
and the music
its broken-fingered
and you, an acrobat,
in such a hungry
that old lucent ghosts
of fruit
fell ripely down
to taste
your laughter.

~Joyce Odam, Sacramento

Image from Photobucket
Poem from Medusa's place

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lilith, Eve, May Queen and Beltane musings....

Ah, Beltane.

I love this holiday as much as I love Samhain.  And I LOVE Samhain.  It doesn't surprise me that these 2 holidays are opposite each other for one begets the other.  Life begets Death and Death begets new Life.  And with Life, there must be sex.  Beltane celebrates sex and the Life that comes from it.

Sex.  One of the great mysteries:  so celebrated, so despised; so revered, so maligned; a potent path to spiritual ecstasy or debauchery.  It is, indeed, a mighty force, one that should not be taken lightly.

And sex always brings to mind Lilith and Eve.  Not Adam and Eve, but Lilith and Eve.  And their garden with the fruit of knowledge.  I first discovered Lilith in the early '90s when I read Demetra George's fabulous book "Mysteries of the Dark Moon."  I fell completely in love with her.  Here is an excerpt from that book that just stunned and delighted me.

Jonelle Maison

Lilith was the first woman, made at the same time, from the same stuff as Adam. So, when Adam refused her equality and forced her to lie under him, Lilith spoke the forbidden name of god and flew from Eden. In mythology she became the Succubus, shown as a winged woman with taloned feet. The stories differ, and I have selected from among them. Sanvi, Sansanvi, Semangelaf are the angels sent by god to bring Lilith back to Adam. 

You gotta give it to Lilith, she was a hell of a woman.
Said she'd rather fuck demons on the beach
than lie under the belly of that whiner Adam
and flew from paradise.
Told god's angels to shove it when they came to get her
Listen to me now, while you still can.
The original sin was rape and god has chosen Adam.
From here we begin.
This wound unhealed between man and woman
draws out the world.
I am the first woman.
And the last.
My children may be sterile as raisins,
die each evening with the sun, but I continue.
You will see me soon, looking with the eyes of
sweet-faced Eve when Adam breaks another covenant
as easily as teeth break the fruit's skin.
I am always here.
Justice owed and justice withheld.
I see my place in history: the forgotten metaphor
living with the beasts in the desert.
You'll try to erase the sound of my name,
call me Witch.
Queen of Ghosts, Mother of Terror.
Then you come here, wanting assurance
that I will not harm Adam's seed,
will not steal from another woman's cradle.
Go ahead.
Write your names over doorways
if you think it will keep them safe.
Sanvi. Sansanvi, Semangelaf.
The syllables curl and fade,
grow old as children.
And what do you ask of me after
the eight days have set?
I am the Night Hag.
Patient as memory, I wait at the crossroads,
visit your men in the dark,
they have reason to fear.
I bring them a sleep restful as my own.
Go back now.
I'm through talking.
Tell god for me, this fight goes on as long as it must.
Let him make Eve, thinking to undo this treachery.
Let him make laws declaring the mud's mistake.
In every generation there is a woman
who belong to me.

Powerful, isn't it?  That's Lilith.

I wrote a poem to Lilith which you can find here.  I was struggling with the poison of patriarchy and was reading Demetra's book at the time.  It helped to write it, to channel the fury and despair out of myself and onto paper - far less destructive than keeping it in or lashing out.

May ~ the month is so seductive.  The sights, the smells, the sounds - all background music to celebrate sensuality and sexuality, our own and the Earth's.

Which brings me to the haiku I recently wrote about Eve:

Eve's Gift

Don't stop kissing me
she hissed writhing under him.
Serpent taught her well.

And, this which I found over at Medusa's place:


naked as the dust
sitting among corn-stocks shooting up
like magic bean-stocks
and watermelons bigger than the moon.
I was naked too.
Mint and thyme sprang up
in my cool, dark foot-prints
as I walked toward you.
Tomato vines embraced us
twining up our legs
caressing us with bright red fruit
falling faster than a breath.
Pomegranates and apples showered us
grapes grew in our hair
and when your tongue touched mine,
I knew this was Eden.

—Cynthia Linville, Sacramento

When I was a child, we actually had a Maypole Dance.  I had no idea what it meant at the time and thought it was ridiculous.  Too bad we're not taught the origins of the celebration - I think we'd have a sexually healthier population.  Click here to see some really great pictures of a May Day celebration - click on the "see all 44 pictures" link and then view as the slideshow. You won't be disappointed.  Updated to add:  I just realized after watching that May Pole dance that it is another version of the Spiral Dance that we danced at Samhain!

Ah, May....

'Tis the Season!  May it be a delightfully sensual one for each of you!

Image from Photobucket

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010



Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Naomi Shihab Nye 

The image is a shrine that is for auction over at Rebecca's place.  The shrine was donated to help the Oaxacan Children's Grassroots organization. The auction is going on right now, so if you want to bid, head on over to Rebecca's!

Here is the description by the artist.

Shoshanah Jennings

This shrine is inspired by the No Mas Muertes (No More Deaths) project, providing humanitarian aid to illegal immigrants crossing the harsh deserts of Arizona. Deborah McCullough showed me the mixed media art she had created from the found remnants from these brutal crossings and I never forgot.
This shrine is 7½" tall and 4½" wide, and designed to hang on a wall.

If you would like to know more about what is being done to provide humanitarian aid to women or men or children crossing the border looking for their parents or relatives, you can click here and you will be directed to No More Deaths website. Here is their mission statement:

Mission Statement

No More Deaths is an organization whose mission is to end death and suffering on the U.S./Mexico border through civil initiative: the conviction that people of conscience must work openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights. Our work embraces the Faith-Based Principles for Immigration Reform and focuses on the following themes:

• Direct aid that extends the right to provide humanitarian assistance
• Witnessing and responding
• Consciousness raising
• Global movement building
• Encouraging humane
immigration policy

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010

My roots are in the Earth.  
My roots are of the Earth. 
I see Her Beauty
Reflected all around me.
I dance Her spiral dance with Her
through the starry fields 
She calls home.

Who needs a space ship
when we're already on one
having the ride of our lives?

Happy Earth Day, everyone!  

It's a beautiful day here in NJ - we had a good thunderstorm last evening which seems to have cleansed everything!  Kylie and will be headed out for a nice meandering walk later on to revel in the beauty of this Spring season, allergies be damned!

Tune into the beauteous Earth, our home, our Madre and take in Her Love to nourish your body, mind and soul.  You need nothing more than what She gives so freely and with so much unconditional Love.

UPDATE:  Since it is Earth Day, I am reminded of the Charge of the Star Goddess  which can be found here.  

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day Eve...

The world's great age begins anew,  
The golden years return,  
The earth doth like a snake renew  
Her winter weeds outworn;  
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam  
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.  

~Percy Bysshe Shelley~
from his poem Hellas

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Trout Lily

It happened that I couldn’t find in all my books
more than a picture and a few words concerning
the trout lily,

so I shut my eyes.
And let the darkness come in
and roll me back.
The old creek

began to sing in my ears
as it rolled along, like the hair of spring,
and the young girl I used to be

heard it also,

as she came swinging into the woods,
truant from everything as usual
except the clear globe of the day, and its
beautiful details.

Then she stopped,
where the first trout lilies of the year

had sprung from the ground
with their spotted bodies
and their six-antlered bright faces,
and their many red tongues.

If she spoke to them, I don’t remember what she said,
and if they kindly answered, it’s a gift that can’t be broken
by giving it away.

All I know is, there was a light that lingered, for hours,
under her eyelids–that made a difference
when she went back to a difficult house, at the end of the day.

~Mary Oliver~

Friday, April 16, 2010

Shrine Auction starts tomorrow, 17 April 2010

Rebecca has the information on the Shrine Auction to benefit the Oaxaca Street Children's Grassroots organization.  In order to bid, you'll need to register and then create your profile.  I've got my eye on 2 in particular and hope I win the bidding competition!

Here is a little information about the Oaxaca Street Children's history.  You can find more information at their website, here.

Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots

Harold and Jodi Bauman founded Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots in 1996. They had spent a lifetime caring for their own children in Missouri, USA. where they were mental health professionals. The couple first came to Oaxaca on vacation in 1984, and although they were enchanted by the city's charms, they were deeply troubled by the many young children they saw working in the streets and parks. These youngsters were selling trinkets and candy, both during school and nighttime hours.

The Baumans began by helping one family of Triqui Indians to enroll their children in school. Each year they expanded their efforts and spent more time in Oaxaca. By 1996, they and a few friends were supporting approximately seventy children, and Harold and Jodi realized that they could reach more children if they formalized their initiative. Together with another couple, they chartered Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots and created a child-sponsorship program.

By the end of 1997, 148 children had found sponsors with the help of "Grassroots". This number climbed to 190 by the end of 1998, and to 230 by the end of 1999. Today over five hundred children and adolescents have international sponsors (or "Godparents") through the auspices of the organization. In addition, we added a Food and Medical Program in 1998, and a Community Center in 1999.

Centro de Esperanza Infantil A. C.

In 1999, we chartered a sister organization in Mexico, El Centro de Esperanza Infantil (or "Center of Hope for Children"). In March 2000, El Centro de Esperanza Infantil achieved the Mexican equivalent of a US 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
As a result, we are now carrying out our services here in Oaxaca through a Mexican organization, but neither the donation process nor our program offerings will change. Donations should still be sent to Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots, Inc. to the address listed in the Contact Us section of the website.

I hope you'll take some time to look at the truly beautiful shrines and help a very good cause.  Just don't bid on the 2 that I want!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In the dream...


I was in the hospital
something to do
with my heart,
probably broken again,
it happens a lot...

That’s when you came in,
but you weren’t you,
you were something else,
a rabbit,
not a huge one,
but a big one,
maybe three feet long.

You had this white fur,
with caramel colored patches,
The inside of your ears
were very pink,
your nose too.

You cuddled beside me,
under my arm,
your whiskers tickled,
I could feel your

The doctor came in
said it was time
for you to leave.
You smiled.
I didn’t know
rabbits could smile,
but you smiled...

It was a nice dream,
I’m glad
you were in it...

~William S. Gainer~

Poem found over at Medusa's place where you can read some fabulous word crafting.

Image from Photobucket.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April flowers bring...

Although this dandelion is a beauty, my favorite flower is the gardenia - what's yours?

"Flowers are known around the world to symbolize love, friendship, compassion, and celebration. Flowers are a part of our every day - they enliven our homes with their beauty and fragrance, grace our gardens with color and creativity, delight us, seduce us, and remind us of the beautiful, transitory life we share together on Earth. When we sip a calming chamomile tea, smile at an unassuming daisy, or find freshly cut stargazers at the farmers market; we behold the healing power of flowers.

According to research conducted by Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., director of the Human Development Lab at Rutgers University, “flowers have immediate and long-term positive effects on reactions, mood, social behaviors and even memory for both males and females.”

All age groups in the study exhibited emotions of extraordinary delight and gratitude after receiving flowers, encouraging more positive behavior in social activity - such as eye contact and sincere smiling. The mere presence of flowers in subjects’ homes led to increased contact with friends and family, indicating that we share with our loved ones when happy emotions are triggered. Flowers are a natural mood booster with direct long-term positive effects on emotional well-being; authenticating our compassionate instinct to send flowers to sick or healing friends.

When wildflowers spring up each year for their seasonal appearance, we too invite the concept of rebirth into our homes and our families with spring cleaning, sowing new seeds, and gathering for family celebrations. Cross-culturally, many spring holidays include bright colors and flowers in the annual rituals of renewal and rebirth.

Another Rutgers University psychology study noted the effects flowers have on seniors (also conducted by Haviland-Jones). The study finds flowers decrease depression, encourage companionship and enrich short-term memories in seniors, proving that flowers have the power to ease us into a peaceful place of old age - while perhaps reminding us of the vitality in all life forms.

Botanists estimate there are more than 240,000 types of flowering plants on Earth. Flowers and their essences have been used in medicine for ages. Many of today’s herbal remedies are based on the ancient wisdom of Mother Nature. Some flowers that appear in natural products include immune-enhancing echinacea, anti-inflammatory calendula, stress-relieving passionflower, relaxing lavender, and stimulating patchouli.

As sensual human beings, we are attracted to the majesty of each flower’s individual fragrance, color, and symmetry. Flowers are supposed to be sexy - they must seduce the buzzing birds and bees into intimacy for their own successful reproduction through pollination. We, too, respond to expressive colors, sweet scents, bold patterns and inspiring sacred geometry.

When we celebrate springtime underneath cherry blossoms, or spot a summer sunflower, be sure to breathe in the naturally occurring therapy - inviting you to stop and smell the roses, as often as you like."

~From the Care2 folks~

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Song of the Flower

Song of the Flower

I am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth; I was
Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.

At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.

The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is
The only eye of the day.

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.

I am the lover's gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.

But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn.

~Khalil Gibran~

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sunday at 105

This film is worth every minute of the 13 or so minutes it runs.  Listen to her wit and wisdom...and definitely enjoy her!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Laughter of Women

The Laughter Of Women 
The laughter of women sets fire
to the Halls of Injustice
and the false evidence burns
to a beautiful white lightness

It rattles the Chambers of Congress
and forces the windows wide open
so the fatuous speeches can fly out

The laughter of women wipes the mist
from the spectacles of the old;
it infects them with a happy flu
and they laugh as if they were young again

Prisoners held in underground cells
imagine that they see daylight
when they remember the laughter of women

It runs across water that divides,
and reconciles two unfriendly shores
like flares that signal the news to each other

What a language it is, the laughter of women,
high-flying and subversive.
Long before law and scripture
we heard the laughter, we understood freedom.
~Lisel Mueller~
Image from Photobucket

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I heard the crocus laughing

First Crocus

This morning, flowers cracked open
the earth’s brown shell. Spring
leaves spilled everywhere
though winter’s stern hand
could come down again at any moment
to break the delicate yolk
of a new bloom.

The crocus don’t see this as they chatter
beneath a cheerful petal of spring sky.
They ignore the air’s brisk arm
as they peer at their fresh stems, step
on the leftover fragments
of old leaves.

When the night wind twists them to pieces,
they will die like this: laughing,
tossing their brilliant heads
in the bitter air.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ode to Olive Oil

I love olive oil.  Really.  I do.  I use it almost exclusively when cooking.  I tend to use the Kalamata oil, but will use anything which has that deep, rich flavor - and I like it when the color is green, not yellow.

I also love the poetry of Pablo Neruda who wrote his odes about everyday things. Olive Oil was no exception.

Oda al Aceite
por Pablo Neruda

Cerca del rumoroso
Cereal, de las olas
Del viento en las avenas
El olivo
De volumen plateado
Severo en su linaje
En su torcido
Corazón terrestre:
Las Gráciles
Por los dedos
Que hicieron
La paloma
Y el caracol
De la naturaleza,
Y allí
Los secos
Tan solo
Cielo azul con cigarras
Y tierra dura
El prodigio
La cápsula
De la oliva
Con sus constelaciones el foliaje
Más tarde
Las vasijas,
El milagro,
El aceite.
Yo amo
Las patrias del aceite
Los olivares
De Chaeabuco, en Chile
En la mañana
Las plumas de platino
Contra las arrugadas
En Anacapri, arriba,
Sobre la luz tirrena
La desesperación de los olivos
Y en la mapa de Europa
Cesta negra de aceitunas
Espolvoreada por los azahares
Como por una ráfaga marina
Recóndita y suprema
Condición de la olla
Pedestal de perdices
Llave celeste de la mayonesa
Suave y sabroso
Sobre las lechugas
Y sobrenatural en el infierno
De los arzo bispales pejerreyes
Nuestro coro
Suavidad poderosa
Eres idioma
Hay sílabas de aceite
Hay palabras
Útiles y olorosas
Como tu fragrante material.
No solo canta el vino
También canta el aceite
Vive en nosotros con su luz madura
Y entre los bienes de la tierra
Tu inagotable paz, tu esencia verde
Tu colmado tesoro que desciende
Desde los manantiales del olivo.

Ode to Olive Oil 
by Pablo Neruda

Near the murmuring
In the grain fields, of the waves
Of wind in the oat-stalks
The olive tree
With its silver-covered mass
Severe in its lines
In its twisted
Heart in the earth:
The graceful
By the hands
Which made
The dove
And the oceanic
Of nature
And there
The dry
Olive Groves
The blue sky with cicadas
And the hard earth
The prodigy
The perfect
Of the olives
With their constellations, the foliage
Then later,
The bowls,
The miracle,
The olive oil.
I love
The homelands of olive oil
The olive groves
Of Chacabuco, in Chile
In the morning
Feathers of platinum
Forests of them
Against the wrinkled
Mountain ranges.
In Anacapri, up above,
Over the light of the Italian sea
Is the despair of olive trees
And on the map of Europe
A black basketfull of olives
Dusted off by orange blossoms
As if by a sea breeze
Olive oil,
The internal supreme
Condition for the cooking pot
Pedestal for game birds
Heavenly key to mayonaise
Smoothe and tasty
Over the lettuce
And supernatural in the hell
Of the king mackerals like archbishops
Our chorus
Powerful smoothness
You sing:
You are the Spanish
There are syllables of olive oil
There are words
Useful and rich-smelling
Like your fragrant material
It's not only wine that sings
Olive oil sings too
It lives in us with its ripe light
And among the good things of the earth
I set apart
Olive oil,
Your ever-flowing peace, your green essence
Your heaped-up treasure which descends
In streams from the olive tree.

Van Gogh image from Photobucket

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter, Happy Spring!!

My very Catholic Auntie Anne always sent me an Easter card which stated Happy Easter, Happy Spring; she never sent me a religious card.  She always included the secular world in her beliefs, something I appreciated.  And all of her devotions were to Mary, leading me to believe that she had a secret broom closet in her home that she showed no one!

She's been gone 5 years this May and, every holiday, I still expect to find a card in the mail from her....

Happy Easter, Happy Spring, everyone!  Enjoy the day, don't eat too many of those peeps and chocolate bunnies!!

Image from Photobucket.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Morning has broken...

School Prayer 

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form 
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.

~Diane Ackerman~

Image from Photobucket

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's April Fool's Day!!

A few ways this day is celebrated around the world and why it's good to laugh!

Iranians play jokes on each other on the 13th day of the Persian new year (Norouz), which falls on April 1 or April 2. This day, celebrated as far back as 536 BC, is called Sizdah Bedar and is the oldest prank-tradition in the world still alive today; this fact has led many to believe that April Fools' Day has its origins in this tradition.[4]
The April 1 tradition in France and French-speaking Canada includes poisson d'avril (literally "April's fish"), attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim's back without being noticed. This is also widespread in other nations, such as Italy (where the term Pesce d'aprile (literally "April's fish") is also used to refer to any jokes done during the day). In Spanish-speaking countries, similar pranks are practiced on December 28, día de los Santos Inocentes, the "Day of the Holy Innocents". This custom also exists in certain areas of Belgium, including the province of Antwerp. The Flemish tradition is for children to lock out their parents or teachers, only letting them in if they promise to bring treats the same evening or the next day.
In Poland, prima aprilis ("April 1" in Latin) is a day full of jokes; various hoaxes are prepared by people, media (which sometimes cooperate to make the "information" more credible) and even public institutions. Serious activities are usually avoided. This conviction is so strong that the anti-Turkish alliance withLeopold I signed on April 1, 1683, was backdated to March 31.
In Scotland, April Fools' Day is traditionally called Hunt-the-Gowk Day ("gowk" is Scots for a cuckoo or a foolish person), although this name has fallen into disuse. The traditional prank is to ask someone to deliver a sealed message requesting help of some sort. In fact, the message reads "Dinna laugh, dinna smile. Hunt the gowk another mile". The recipient, upon reading it, will explain he can only help if he first contacts another person, and sends the victim to this person with an identical message, with the same result.
In Denmark the 1st of May is known as "Maj-kat", meaning "May-cat", and is identical to April Fools' Day, though Danes also celebrate April Fools' Day ("aprilsnar").
In Spain and Ibero-America, an equivalent date is December 28, Christian day of celebration of the Massacre of the Innocents. The Christian celebration is a holiday in its own right, a religious one, but the tradition of pranks not, though the latter is observed yearly. After somebody plays a joke or a prank on somebody else, the joker usually cries out, in some regions of Ibero-America: "Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar" (You innocent dove that allowed to get yourself fooled), as a popular expression. In Spain is common to say just "¡Inocente!" (Innocent!).
From Wiki

Is there anything better than a contagious giggle that you absolutely can’t control? (Ok, maybe not so good in school or church.) Laughter works wonderfully well in the moment, but it also has some surprising long-term health benefits. In the book A Better Brain at Any Age: The Holistic Way to Improve Your Memory, Reduce Stress, and Sharpen Your Wits (Conari Press, 2009), author Sondra Kornblatt explores how laughter can truly make you feel better.
She writes that the new field of gelotology is exploring the benefits of laughter. It was brought to the public’s awareness in Norman Cousins’ memoir Anatomy of an Illness. Cousins found that comedies, like those of the Marx Brothers, helped him feel better and get some pain-free sleep. That’s because laughter helps the pituitary gland release its own pain-suppressing opiates.
What can laughter do?:
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood
  • Give a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles
  • Reduce certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline
  • Increase the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells
  • Defend against respiratory infections–even reducing the frequency of colds–by immunoglobulon in saliva.
  • Increase memory and learning; in a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, humor during instruction led to increased test scores
  • Improve alertness, creativity, and memory
Humor and creativity work in similar ways, says humor guru William Fry, M.D., of Stanford University–by creating relationships between two disconnected items, you engage the whole brain.
Humor works quickly. Less than a half-second after exposure to something funny, and electrical wave moves through the higher brain functions of the cerebral cortex. The left hemisphere analyzes the words and structures of the joke; the right hemisphere “gets” the joke; the visual sensory area of the occipital lobe creates images; the limbic (emotional) system makes you happier; and the motor sections make you smile or laugh.
So let’s laugh. What makes you laugh? Tell us your favorite funny movie, or how about a good joke?
From the Care2 folks.