One More Tears and Laughter Lud Thing



Kate Wolf and Friends

Kate Wolf and Friends



Feeling Competitive Lately, Playing Scrabble

(In memory of Lud Dimpfl)

Feeling competitive lately
Playing scrabble and not exactly just for fun
And I need to tell you a story about my old
Sufi preceptor beloved Lud who had come

To one of our monthly Sufi
Games of charades; here’s the history:
You see I and my arch rival (one Doug)
Were in a blistery and blustery rules attack

Or some such unsightly or even uglier gaffe
But who can remember thirty years back?
What I do remember is Lud’s look
Which was the pure picture of puzzlement he

Couldn’t wrap mind around why our demented
Looking faces coursed with blood until truth like
Sun dawned on innocent Lud who (tho long in years)
Then belatedly burst into his hearty laugh

A sound I swear it seemed would never slack
And which perforce then led to rolling tears;
He’d finally unraveled the mystery:
We actually CARED about who won


And while we are on the subject of tears and laughter, I want to share this song, Give Yourself to Love, by the immortal Kate Wolf who lives on in hearts many years after her tragic death:


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:

“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”


September 14, 2016:
This is another blog post reinstated from those which mysteriously and suddenly went missing. There were over a hundred posts in all dating from April Fool’s Day, 2013, and as I have occasionally mentioned, the vast bulk of them were wiped out by some apparently malicious entity who got access to the inner workings of my website. And as I have promised, I am gradually (and laboriously) reintroducing them, from back-up files. This is one in a series of those. Also, I should add, this whole debacle explains the gaps you will see in the Archives section. This is a continuation promised from the backup posted two weeks ago, in a series about my old beloved Sufi preceptor, Lud Dimpfl. This repost is from the one for December 30, 2013.

Gentle Readers,
Last week, in connection with my old beloved Sufi preceptor Lud Dimpfl, I was talking about tears and laughter. And that’s the salient image of this wonderful Kate Wolf song. It’s already a classic. For those unfamiliar with Kate Wolf, she died many years ago though it seems like only yesterday we all loved the heart that we found in her music. And then tragically, she died young. That was twenty-five years ago. And still whenever I think of tears and laughter, I remember this song, and love itself. And like as not shortly after, I start to cry.

So in keeping with this theme, and as I promised last week, here’s one more tears and laughter Lud thing. But of course, again, these were the kind of tears that come from laughing too much. A loveable thing was that Lud had a sense of humor. Of course Lud was also relatively sane. And not to laugh is insane. Or at least bespeaks a lack of perspicacity, given the pretty funny stuff going on.

But it was useful too, because Lud admitted to having a scary Teutonic side. And it could be marvelously defused if only you made him laugh. (Kind of a miniature Scheherazade thing, perhaps) And Lud was always already ready to laugh. And as I’ve mentioned, at his peril, when it comes to tears. Because they could and did come and torrentially too when he found something really funny. But here’s the Lud story:

You must know that certain Sufis gathered every month or so to have a polite game of charades. (or that was the plan) But for some reason it always ended up with me on one team and an arch nemesis (In our bizarre quest for conquest) Sufi on the other. This fellow shall for multiple reasons remain unnamed. Not least of which is likely he’s not as willingly a clown as I, who live to serve. (Say the word, I’ll be absurd)

Especially it was sweet to have given Lud such amusement. And it wasn’t like I didn’t already know that I went for blood when there was competition. As some of you may have seen in the biographical bits (Press the tag “Biography”) that I was alone and friendless as a youth with only my genius older brothers for company and they were to be polite, avid competitors. If I ever operated at their level or even close, they were impressed. It was my “ticket to ride.” And so I had always practiced with a lead sword. And the most useful weapon I found (in these contests) is to care if you won or not. So, it was in my blood by the time Lud came along.

I don’t know the etiology of my Sufi friend’s competitive spirit, but just know that if possible his determination was more steel and mine merely hammered copper. Oh hell I can’t say I was any better. Anyway so we were in vigorous combat, and arguing over a minor point, the upshot of which would have given my side or his an advantage and so it was fiercely fought.

Though I of course had my heart in the outcome, so much did I love Lud that it didn’t escape me his reaction to this scene. His mounting perplexity as he played Sherlock Holmes trying in his mind to get to the bottom of this odd behavior on our parts. And it finally dawned on him. We actually cared who won. Not merely as a matter of preference but with no deference whatever to civilized behavior, just so one won.

And when Lud saw the magnitude of our egos, the recklessness with which we unaccountably courted avoidable disappointment, and why indeed there was any issue of a disappointment at all let alone sufficient to justify the ferocity of our arguments, suddenly he was overcome by the absurd incongruity. And he started to laugh his Lud laugh. And laugh and laugh until guess what? Tears again. And rolling down his cheeks, and the poor fellow had mislaid his handkerchief and we had to fetch kleenex.

But you know I’ve heard tears and laughter produce endorphins, which are the heart’s own medicine.

And boy did it feel good to give Lud such a healthy dose of those. I live to serve.

Not sure what I’ll talk about next week. By the by if any of you gentle folk have any ideas for a theme you’d like addressed, I am looking forward to hearing of them.
There is a comments section.
Or just email me at
God be with you,
Eric Halliwell

About Eric Halliwell

I am the creator and sustainer of, a website which features (among a few other things, like interesting and inspiring quotes, and Sufi stories) my poetry and illustrative blog posts, about one 1000 word essay a month. It is Sufi-themed, probably because for seven years I was an officially initiated Sufi mureed, in San Francisco circa 1970’s. My poetry has appeared in these publications: Penwood Review, Ascent Aspirations, Umbrella Journal, (since defunct), Shine Journal, Ashé Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. I can be reached at

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