We ain’t got no chickens! Ha Ha Ha! We ain’t got no chickens.
This is a punch line to a long-forgotten joke that never failed to make us laugh, especially when my Mom said it. No one can remember the set-up or when it started or who said it first. That was no longer relevant.
In her last days, when her mind was deteriorating, I would say “We ain’t got no chickens” and she would laugh. And then she would say “We ain’t got no chickens” and I would laugh. And then we’d both say “We ain’t got no chickens” and we both would laugh. And this could go on for hours. If you didn’t know us, you would think we were nuts.
There is something about a “common memory” that heals and binds people together. When we hear someone laughing, we tend to laugh with them. When we see someone crying, our hearts bend a little. When we come together in a dark room to experience a moving or hysterical event, we come closer to one another. We share a memory and validate our own existence.
We don’t have to agree on how the event affected us. But we cannot deny that we shared that event; that we witnessed something together.
This season offers extraordinary opportunities for us to make shared memories. We will laugh together for two straight weeks with the Reduced Shakespeare Company EXTRAVAGANZA. We will be transported together to the mysterious and tumultuous Ukraine with DakhaBrakha. We will be moved together by the extraordinary Anna Deavere Smith. And we will be inspired together by Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco.
Join me and together we will create great memories.