I appreciate that last month of winter starts with humor. Groundhog’s Day will always be funny to me. The pomp and circumstance for the giant rodent are just laughable. Even if he’s on the money about winter ending or extending another six weeks (as he indicated this year), I wonder, how did we come to the tuxedoed pagentry that surrounds him now? I don’t know and probably won’t get around to looking it up, but I know this truth, bleak times, seasons of winter, cry out for humor.
On the hardest days, I crave it most. I require the lightness of laughter to lift me from my lows: the day I buried my grandmother, listened to a good friend talk about a miscarriage, or sat in the hospital watching my baby scream through a chest x-ray looking like Augustus Gloop wedged into a plastic tube. Those moments were heavy drama but burst into bits of tragi-comedy out of pure need for rollicking laughter release. Sometimes it’s the only place to go in the bleak of life’s winters.
We go there, into the juxtaposition of the deep and dark humor this month in the Segullah February 2018 Journal. Funny lady extraordinaire, Lisa Valentine Clark, talks about her dynamic career of making people laugh at the same time she’s in the thick of struggles with her husband’s terminal disease. Featured Writer, Luisa Perkins, takes us deep into a never-before-seen excerpt from her in-process novel, revealing moments that make kidnapped teen smile in captivity. 2011 Prose Contest Winner, Margaret Everton, shows us the power and pleasure of laughter to in letting go of a surprising loss. And finally, Segullah Staffer, Poet Claire Akebrand, shares the mood of February with a skull and a prayer of playful, thoughtful observations.
Take heart, February, and a bit of the best medicine.
Sandra Clark Jergensen
Table of Contents
Interview with Lisa Valentine Clark by Sandra Clark Jergensen
The Long Way Home Excerpt by Featured Writer, Luisa Perkins
Irreverence by Margaret Everton
Skull on the Table by Claire Akebrand