What Is Laughter?


by Edward Thornton

Hafiz asks,* "What is Laughter?"
He answers, "O, it is God waking up."
But what does Hafiz know about God?
"God," is a word for the whole universe.
Hafiz was just a poet who died six
hundred years before Stephen Hawking**
who says, the universe was born in a Big Bang
an explosion that sent every galaxy
flying apart from each other, faster and
faster, implanting space with black holes
that will swallow our space ships and shatter them
like land mines in a battle field.
Hawking sees God as quite a gambler
and earth like a giant casino
with a future (a few billion years) of shivering
getting emptier and colder.
Hafiz finds God in the sun
poking its head from beyond a cloud;
in songs; in magic movements of dancing;
in happiness applauding itself
then embracing everyone and
everything in the world.

And laughter? The sound of a soul waking up.

*Ladinsky, Daniel. 1 Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz. International Standard Book Number 0 915828 18 9. 1996. p. 125.

*" Hawking, Stephen. The Universe in a Nutshell. Bantom, 2001. pp.79 80, 95.