Jul 26, 2014

Finding my 'maybe'

About three times this past year I've felt an odd and overwhelming need to give thanks. It's taken me to an interesting place.

Time 1: A terrible crisis had been unfolding in my immediate family. It had me retching from anxiety many mornings, helpless as I was to affect the ominous outcomes that seemed to be looming. The recurrent thought teasing sleep and peace away was "How's this going to end?"

It ended. And well. I got a phone call early one morning that put an end to all the tortured but  practical speculations and brought relief that I had only dreamt of. 

Immediately after, I found myself bowing my head, clasping my hands together and sending out an intensely concentrated "Thank you". If there's any place more central to our intent than our gut, that's where that came from. (Not sure I buy into 'soul' or I'd have used that convenient term). I had no idea where it was directed but it held the explosive force of almost 6 months of hopeless helplessness and suppressed panic.

Time 2: Around the same time, a horrible medical sentence was passed upon a family member, one that left little room for anything but a tragic conclusion. She was only 37, mother to two young boys and an immovable part of my childhood. But a dim ray of hope suddenly lit up the horror our minds could barely process. Again I found myself sending out a message of gratitude more intense than the pre-emptive grief that was engulfing me. My gratitude turned out to be misplaced considering the way things turned out. But not really. (More about that later)

Time 3: Today, in my backyard, where the wind is swishing through leaves of the 50 feet high Norway Maples lining the grass. It sounds like surf. it sounds like Peace, Health, Good Luck and Just Enough. For nothing more than the setting sun and cooling breeze, my head dipped low again. I made contact with that unknown part of myself from where these  desperate cries of gratitude keep emerging - in spite of myself.

I'm not always given to thanks: silent  appeals of desperation have escaped my lips before. 
"Let it be okay!" 
Yet nothing has transformed me in my darkest moments, like the one-way messages of thanks. 
I have no conclusion left to draw but that I've blundering close to my version of God.
I don't like that word. Or much that it stands for. Yet this vague shadow of it is letting me grab moments that are the saving and making of me. 

It's making me think that perhaps the key to finding 'silver linings' or 'smelling the roses' or whatever other cliche we choose to symbolize LIVING....is locating our gratitude. 

Without it, nothing is of lasting value. 
With it - even the minuscule moments of pause between times of dismay, assume life-saving proportions.

I remain unsure that any power exists that's higher or greater than our own Humanity. But I'm willing to bow to that possibility. Because if an unseen, unknown recipient is the only way that my gratitude is going to work for me, then so be it.

So.....Thank you.

I declared a contest to see if both of us could go a weekend without sharing hugs, cuddles and kisses. (No secret that this would be more of a challenge for me than him.) All of Saturday morning he stealthily cozied up to me in unguarded moments, sitting just close enough for me to unthinkingly reach out and hug him, as usual.

I cottoned on quickly and asked, " What do you think you're doing?!"
Oyon: oh man! I was attempting you. Hee-hee! Busted!

For the record: he called off the contest just before lunch, claiming "I don't care anymore". I choose to think he just wanted a (my) hug. For the record: I was indeed, 'attempted' but able to resist.


  1. Very nice indeed! Thanks for sharing.. Like the way you have expounded on gratitude as a human value! And saying thanks as a bliss-giver.
    On the point of whether it is gut or soul or god (let go of the word itself, it is the intent that matters, right) I find it is making the journey within that's the key.