The WATCH Project played host to a laughter workshop run by Denise recently. One of the members who participated (Maureen) collected her thoughts on paper and was happy to share them on the website today:
“After a leisurely lunch (slow because so many bits I had to pick out)! Already some of the others were assembling in comfortable chairs at the other end. I didn’t mind sitting in the middle of two people on a sofa to do that, hopefully I could “lip read.” Nevertheless, I feel apprehensive as I had never been able to hear a talk.
However, I was told, right at the beginning that the speaker knew me. I was amazed – but it was true. She had heard about me from Simon Heyes when he was a resident at Swallowed cliffe. She remembered the morning we set off to the Brighton Mind Conference – Simon with sixty photocopies draped over his arm – Our first 1st S.U.S newspaper.
But on the talk – with 100% audience participation, I felt excited – Somebody I had known!
Ho, ho, ho hah – and we all stood up – eager to respond. Expelling air seemed to exhilarate me and I felt eager to follow the next direction. Shake hands – it felt good to feel the warmth of other people’s hands and shaking them about really made me feel light-hearted and free as a bird.
Then she produced a soft yellow laughing ball and I couldn’t help laughing with it and feel uplifted with abandonment. I didn’t care about making a fool of myself. The laughter was infectious.
Then we chatted in gibberish like small children – crazy but infectious. I didn’t feel embarrassed – free as a bird and didn’t hesitate to converse in talking absolute rubbish!
We then dipped our hands into a bag, covering them with an imaginary powder. It felt good, even though nothing was there!
We then blew bubbles from tiny polythene pots, enjoying with wonder as they flew in the air.
Seeing Denise with an enormous “bubble maker” we looked around with wonder, no embarrassment or inhibitions, enjoying seeing each other totally relaxed – feeling a release of tension in each other.
I watched several latecomers walk in – the tension in their faces. I felt sorry they had missed the best talk. However, no straining to hear. Her voice came through loud and clear – a happy voice and I felt like communicating – the barriers had been lifted!”