Just a big Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. It is certainly shaping up to be a big deal around here. So, we are grateful.
I successfully cleared all the hurtles on my trip to the Institute yesterday. I had good conversations with my contacts there. I even found a little financial aid from the hospital to cover parking and some groceries. They are interested in me gaining weight.
Have to relate to you this little story about the stop to get my new driver’s license. It is a little bit of a process to sort through documents and answer questions, eye test, photo and etc for the enhanced version. This very delightful African-American woman was waiting on me. I mention that because it sort of flavors what I am going to say next. So, we got to the photo part and she said to take my hat off and she goes, “Ou, I love your hair; I’m going to chase you around!” That cracked me up so bad! Hey, when you got it, flaunt it, right?
This morning on FaceBook there was a wonderful piece by David Whyte put up by one of my nurses and I want to share it:
is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without and beside us. Gratitude is not necessarily something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a-priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.
Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things must come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege; that we are miraculously, part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape.
To see the full miraculous essentiality of the color blue is to be grateful with no necessity for a word of thanks. To see fully, the beauty of a daughter’s face across the table, of a son’s outline against the mountains, is to be fully grateful without having to seek a God to thank him. To sit among friends and strangers, hearing many voices, strange opinions; to intuit even stranger inner lives beneath calm surface lives, to inhabit many worlds at once in this world, to be a someone amongst all other someones, and therefore to make a conversation without saying a word, is to deepen our sense of presence and therefore our natural sense of thankfulness that everything happens both with us and without us, that we are participants and witness all at once.
Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table as part of every other person’s world while making our own world without will or effort, this is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege.
Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences. Being unappreciative might mean we are simply not paying attention.
In CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press 2015.
So, a big Happy Thanksgiving!
lots of gravy loves, Felipé.