Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Girls' (Imaginations) Gone Wild

Is there anything better than having an out-of-control belly laugh with a friend, laughing so hard that tears pour down your face and you’re gasping for breath?  I hesitate to tell this story as there is a detail that might shock some- but I can’t resist the urge to share the laughter.

Last week I was on the phone with my dear friend, Linda, who lives in British Columbia. As usual our conversation launched heart-first into catching up with each others’ lives and discussing the meaning of life in both the big picture and in the small choices we make daily.

All of a sudden, I heard a strange noise. “Wait just a minute,” I said to Linda. “There’s a very odd noise coming from my bedroom.” As I walked into the bedroom the noise got louder- sort of a buzzing, mechanical noise like a drill or some other kind of power tool.

The apartment building I live in is concrete with hot water heating, so airborne noises (like voices or music) do not travel between units. However, if someone drops a penny on the hardwood floor above me, I hear it loud and clear. I figured someone next door was drilling into the concrete wall, except. . . . except the sound seemed to be in my bedroom.

“What is that?” Clearly Linda could hear it too.

I moved slowly toward the area from which the sound seemed to be emanating, right next to my bed. I’d recently made the seven by nine foot room feel larger by getting rid of the two dressers, and replacing the bedside table with a low wooden cabinet with one file drawer below a smaller shallow drawer.

“I don’t know.” I could hear the trepidation in my own voice. “It sounds like it’s coming from this room.” I crept up on the cabinet. The sound got louder. I held out my hand and touched the innocuous looking piece of furniture. “Ooo!” I pulled my hand back as if I’d touched a hot burner. “It’s coming from inside the filing cabinet!” 

“Don’t hang up the phone!” Linda shouted, responding to the fear in my voice. “What do you want me to do?”

Do? What could she do? She was three thousand miles away! Call Toronto 911 if the phone suddenly went dead?

“Do you think it’s the mouse?” Linda asked. I’ve been having an on-again-off-again relationship/argument with a small brown mouse who is trying to make my home his.

“What, the mouse went out and bought a power tool to try to intimidate me into letting him stay?”

“Well, what is it then?”

“I don’t know. . . .” My voice involuntarily slid up a half an octave. “. . . but it’s definitely coming from the filing cabinet.” I moved my hand slowly toward the top of the low cabinet, and laughed nervously. “It’s like the filing cabinet is . . . . possessed . . . I can’t even think of what it could be. It’s filled with . . . . files!”  I took a breath. “Okay, I’m going to open the top drawer.”

I jerked the drawer open, jumping back. I don’t know what I expected. A drill-wielding mouse? Some kind of angry file-drawer-ghost? 

And then I collapsed onto the floor laughing. “Oh no!”

“What it is?”

I was laughing so hard I could hardly speak. “It’s . . . . the vibrator. . . . that’s in the top drawer. Somehow it turned itself on!”

(That’s right folks- deal with it: Oriah Mountain Dreamer has a vibrator in her bedside table. And clearly it’s something she uses so infrequently she can’t remember it’s there so the batteries are bursting with unused energy!)

Linda was laughing now too. “Oh, that’s too funny.”

“Good grief. I was actually scared of the filing cabinet!” I sputtered back.

And we just kept laughing, our giggles egging each other on. My sides ached, tears streamed, and I had to gulp for air. 

“Attack of the pent up vibrator!”

“Ghost of vibrators past!”

Is there anything more able to dissolve tension held in the body than belly laughter, more able to make you feel like you are nine years old again than laughing over something completely silly with a dear friend? After awhile we wiped our eyes and calmed down- but what a treat shared silliness is, what a blessing and a release to laugh about our own active imaginations and something so harmless and fun. 

That’s what I wish for you- for us- for the world this week: belly laughter that shakes out all the stored tension, that reminds us of how silly our fears sometimes are, that lets us feel that the gift of being human is about more than meaningful co-creations, as wonderful and necessary as those are, but also includes our capacity to laugh together.

Oriah (c) 2012


  1. Brave as always (in a different way of course!) Thanks for the laugh! It's been a much-too-serious week!

    1. Thanks- yes, a different kind of self-revelation this week :-)

  2. OMG I LOVE this Oriah!!! Am sitting at my office desk and can't stop chuckling over this great little story :-)
    Thanks a lot!

    1. :-) So happy to add a chuckle to your work day.

  3. After a very difficult week and amid deep worry, I needed laughter today. My husband and I often say that laughter is what helps us get through difficult times. I have great respect for you having the courage to share this personal story. Years ago when we lived in a forest amid a multitude of animal life, I heard a deep loud animal sound coming from inside our front door. I could not imagine what animal had made its way somehow into our home. What I discovered was a small tree frog, no bigger than one digit of my finger, sitting in my watering can. His small voice was magnified by the spout of the can. There must be a lesson in there somewhere.
    Above all things you share on your blog and facebook, it is those human stories that touches others so deeply.Brenda

    1. Brenda, hope it gave you a smile in a challenging time. Love the story of the little frog's voice amplified by the watering can. :-)

  4. Awesome post Oriah. Yes it is so good to laugh, out loud, with ourselves and each other, and about ourselves.

    it is also good to admit to those things that we often don't feel we can say out loud, the things we "hide in the closet" or bedside cupboard.

    Good for you for coming out, with all the belly laughter and beautiful power of a woman unashamed to say that she owns a pleasureful piece of vibrating machinery. May we all learn form your modeling!



    1. Oh I like that: "a pleasureful piece of vibrating machinery." :-)

  5. Really appreciated this email, Oriah. First of all for the good laugh and then because of what Ahava said, it's good to admit things that we think we can't say outloud.
    Early on in your story I had an idea of what was coming. And it made me think of the same kind of laugh I had with my close friend on the phone. She was in the middle of divorce and we got onto the subject of "pleasureful vibrating machinery". I told her that I was going to throw mine out, since the rubber material irritated my skin. And then one of us came up with the idea of selling it on ebay. That's when we had the healing kind of belly laugh. Did you remove the batteries after this incident? :-) Jean

    1. You know I have not removed the batteries, but from the dozens of (very funny) stories on the Facebook thread from this post about something similar happening to many others (often NOT in their own homes but in a hotel lobby or when the moving man lifted a box etc.) I think I'd better. Apparently this is not an uncommon occurence- who knew!? :-)

  6. Oriah,

    I am still smiling. Oh, the joy of vibrations!


  7. That happened to me - in the middle of the night. I laughed when I could breathe again! A lovely lovely story from you - thank you xx

  8. thank you. i needed to laugh. I so enjoy your honesty and compasion and most of all your humaness. smile.. Steffani

  9. At least the vibrator was able to turn itself on. Thanks for the laugh - a friend shared this on FB.