the gratitude list

November 26, 2008 Candace Morris 4 Comments

this has been a tremendously hard list to write because i need a serious attitude adjustment in the area of contentedness. (side note: i despise, hate, reject, coil in utter disdain from the phrase "you need to adjust your attitude." it's such an invalidating phrase and was mistaken for good parenting in my household)

contentment, like most virtues, carries with it a juxtaposition. One on hand, i never want to embrace the contentment that brings complacency (just so you know, i am not capable of complacency - i can't even get bored without becoming suicidal. (not funny, i know) ) I mean to say that I enjoy that I am not content with life - for I was made for something more...something other.

i realize also that contentment and gratitude are different - but in my quest to find my gratitude, i only find this gnawing discontent...and it has bled into all the other corners of my life of late.

i need a dam,
a thick, high stone wall built from fire
and water.
i need some mortar to fill in the leaks
bind up the cracks and make the good

then i can have a safe oceania of swimable contentment

can you build this for me?
i know the answer already.
i must learn to do it myself.

-the most beautiful purse i have ever owned in my life
-the distance and perspective of third-party observers (therapist and journal)
-my eyes and the way they see the world (in pictures)
- my in-law's house and acreage
-hot running water
-sylvia plath, john steinbeck, and annie dillard
-mussorgsky, rimsky-korsakov, debussy, tchaikovsky
-free will
-one on one conversations {with wine}
-modern medicine and education on psychological disorders
-pen and paper
-direct deposit
-nonverbal communication
-B&O Espresso's lentil soup (which i usually take to go at least once a week)
-joel, oh joel.
- the internet
- intelligent and admirable friends
-light-hearted moments
-my brown pashimna scarf and gray house-sweater
-the elephant grass just outside my side door
-living in the most literate city in the US
*disclaimer: some of these may be trivial and vapid.

I hope you can find one or one thousand reasons to meditate on all the gifts of your particular existence. I think I will take one item from my list per hour tomorrow - to focus on the gratitude for that particular gift. Yes, that suits me perfectly...a good way to build a dam, don't you think?
(would you like to take the dam tour?- hah hah)
~lady whit

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