Ursula Le Guin wrote a line in The Left Hand of Darkness that’s quite striking. “Joy, which is so different from laughter.” That’s true. I laugh a lot but joy is rare recently. It’s making me rethink my life – what it should be doing is making me act to change. But, too human, I find I have ingrained defenses against change.
I also have a particular habit of laughing when I hurt. Le Guin has another line, that we should find our selves moved to “cry as easily as laugh”. This doesn’t feel right. People will use your laughter against you but far easier and far worse to use your tears. We don’t cry because we don’t want our problems to get worse because crying is a signal that we’re near the brink. Crying let’s your opponent know that you are more tired than them. There’s an awful trust in tears.