I had a dream and in the dream I said thank you.
In the dream Hoppy House was suddenly in Hawaii.
Hoppy House is what I call my house. It was in Hawaii, and it was on the beach, and it had more windows than it normally does but in all other ways was the same, and the view was extraordinary, obviously, because it was on the beach in Hawaii.
In Maui, if you are wondering what flavor of Hawaiian beach.
And somehow even though dream-me knew that Hoppy House was located in Hawaii, on the beach, I had somehow never really paused to take in just how stunningly beautiful my view was.
I stood there, in the kitchen, looking around at my kitchen and at the spectacular beauty right there through the windows, and I said THANK YOU.
Not out loud though.
I didn’t actually say thank you, because I am silent in my dreams, just like in real life.
I felt thank you, and for me feeling is like saying. Since going silent the distinction between those two things has diminished. By a lot.
Not only do I feel and say together, I also say more of what I feel. That is: I say things in my scribbled post-it notes to people in my life — things I truly and deeply [think-feel] — that I would never have said in my speaking life.
Anyway, I felt THANK YOU, breathed THANK YOU and said THANK YOU in my body. It was this intense moment of adoration and contentment, appreciation and peacefulness, gratitude and quieting.
A familiar thank you…
This moment of thankful felt a lot like post-yoga thankful in my room, where the leaves through the window are extra-pretty. Where I suddenly only see the good, I only feel the thankfulness.
In normal waking life I mostly see the things I don’t like in myself, or the things I find challenging, unattractive or unsatisfying about my body or my home…
When I open my eyes after yoga, all I see is things to say THANK YOU for.
My body that is a home for me. Space in my physical home where I can practice. The deep trust that my body and I have built over many challenging years together. The blanket wrapped around my shoulders. The lamp Mary made that I bought from her when I moved into the house five years ago next month.
My whole world is a thank you in that moment.
And then I forget, because forgetting and remembering is the work of life and aliveness.
In the dream.
In the dream, [Agents Mueller and White] came into the kitchen, and they asked me what I was thinking.
Have you ever noticed how outrageous the view is?
They laughed, and said, “Every day. It’s why we’re here, right?”
And that is all I remember from the dream.
The next morning.
The next morning I had five minutes before I had to leave for the bus, and I didn’t do any of the usual things I might have done.
On another day, a day without that dream, I would have done something. It’s not like there is a shortage of somethings. If anything, it seems like there is an endless list of somethings.
Given an extra five minutes, I might pluck some pesky eyebrow hairs or fold some towels or run around looking for my sunglasses or, more likely, check facebook or like photos on instagram.
That’s not a criticism of day-to-day me. These all count as valid somethings, and if I am drawn to them for whatever reason, then that’s the something for that moment.
But on this particular morning, I just sat down, and looked around my dining room.
With my thank-you eyes.
And my thank-you heart.
Not looking the way I normally would, at all the things undone, or cataloguing all the things I wish were different. The mark on the curtains, the ceiling that needs to be repainted, the chairs which are not the sexiest chairs in the world.
On this morning I saw the FEELING of the room: Peacefulness.
I saw the curtains that Richard hung up for me. The truly gorgeous light fixture that the previous owners picked out with love and care. The leaves through the window. The window seat where my uncle Svevo always curls up almost as soon as he arrives, where my friend Anna was reading this weekend.
I said-felt thank-you for all these things, and for other things. The neighbors who are genuinely lovely people. The color of the wood. The clothes hanging on the wooden laundry rack in the hall. The rack itself, a gift from Svevo. The rocking chair, another gift from Svevo.
The bus taking me to where I need to go. The app that lets me store bus tickets on my phone. The things that are sweet and right, where normally I see what is wrong, what hurts, what isn’t.
I won’t always have a thank you.
Partly I am saying this as reassurance for my monsters who are afraid that I will dissolve into a puddle of gratitude and platitudes, until I die an embarrassing death by drowning in my own cheesiness.
Worse than that, they are afraid that I will forget to be alert to very real things that are Not Okay, that I won’t know how to protect myself from harm if all I see is good.
I get that. And while I seriously doubt that I will always be able to find a thank you inside of me, I hope that I will.
I want to look — really look — and see how just beautiful it all is.
This is that incredibly rare thing (online at least) that is safe space to play, and usual commenting principles apply: We are here to play! We remember that people vary! We take care of ourselves. We do not tell anyone what to do or how to feel. We are on permanent vacation from advice-giving and care-taking.
Ways we could play today:
Saying thank you to and for anything at all! Sparks sparked for you. Experimenting with these ideas in various ways. Joy for my moment of thank you. And flowers, of course. I love flowers.
Love, as always, to the commenter mice, the Beloved Lurkers, and everyone who reads.
Thank you, beautiful new blog post that suddenly appeared in a moment when I wasn’t expecting to see one.
Thank you, people who love me.
Thank you, animals who trust me.
Thank you, safe spaces.
Thank you, safe space inside of *me*.
I just moved out of a house I wasn’t all too happy in.
Right before I left, I said thank you to every aspect of the house that had meaning. And then I said good bye. “Thank you, chair for supporting me. Good bye, chair”.
It helped me a lot.
deep, loving heart-sigh.
Thank YOU, for this:
“And then I forget, because forgetting and remembering is the work of life and aliveness.”
I am thanking the Internet for making it so easy to locate poems suddenly urging me to reread them (in this case, Merwin’s Thanks).
And for yesterday’s gorgeous, elegant Google doodle. (Balloonist in a top hat! Elephant!)
The necessity of anticoagulant shots continues to be painful, but I am so thankful for the advances in medicine and medical technology they reflect.
I am thanking Past Me for wearing a slouchy, soft brown coat around Europe two years ago, because the memories make wearing it now feel like a hug. I am thanking our cupboards for being a good home for the teas we brought home as souvenirs, which I have been brewing since we are housebound. (Eléphant blanc – still fragrant after over four years! Wow!)
I am thanking the hollyhock seedlings for staying alive (at least so far) in spite of being transplanted. I am thanking our dog for being so ridiculous that we keep laughing at her. I am thanking the avocado grove that has materialized in my compost pile for the same reason.
I am thankful for the hydrangea and calla lily I am trying to figure out how to keep alive. I am thankful for the ancient Christmas cacti once again on the verge of bursting into candy-bright bloom. I am thankful for the lone Christmas pepper plant that has managed to survive (out of the 15 seeds I sowed).
I am thankful for weird, sad dreams that leave me unsettled but also spark fresh writing. I am thankful for gardens and experiments. I thank you for this space.
Havi, hi (or perhaps HI)!
I’m thankful that you posted this for those of us seated in the mezzanine. 🙂 It reminded me about how much I love your writing, the beautiful texture of it, and how your thoughts so often touch my heart.
It also reminded me, as a fortunate resident of Maui, how even the most stunning beauty can escape me, wrapped up as I am in my own ‘somethings’. It’s amazing, really: How we travelers
are so busy reading the sign-posts that we miss the fall colors (whatever fall colors means to us).
So I’ll be offering silently my non-descript thank you’s today, along with a small handful of puakenikeni to you, dear girl. I hope your dream comes true.
Aloha pumehana (warm regards),
Ahhh, lovely, thank you for this Havi!
I feel so ripe and ready for this today.
Thank you, all the zillions of shades of life-color.
Thank you, eyes. Eyes are so beautiful. Mine and everyone else’s.
Thank you, New York, you are outrageously handsome, especially right now.
I am so happy about doors and windows and possibility. In this moment, I am not scared of the unknown. I am not preemptively crouching in self-defense. Thank you, everything that is an opening. Thank you, hallways and other passageways.
Love. Love that does not require permanence, boundaries of time or space, definition, or even a container. Just love in whatever floating beautiful ephemeral form it takes. It is all around me and it is stunning.
I am grateful for time, the limitedness of it, the limitlessness of it, I am grateful for all the breaths that take place before the end.
My body aches and it wants to tell me: “hi, I am here! we are in a relationship. we are relating to each other in this moment.”
My heart breaks and it wants to tell me: “what will you do with all of your bountiful aliveness, all your beauty-seeing and beauty-beckoning? Do you see how exquisitely, uncontainably human you are?”
Everything is wanting my noticing. Everything is calling out, “look! we are here. so are you.”
Thank you, the sweet buttery richness, the whipped frothy volume of all the love in my heart. I can see, I can hear, I can notice, I can touch, and all of these are but more ways to love, to be alive.
Thank you for tasty soup and grilled cheese for lunch
Thank you for play dates with local friends
Thank you for neon orange Hello Kitty socks
Thank you for a surprise kitty
Thank you for people responding to the fun I delivered to the coffee shop yesterday
Thank you for surprise pastel pencils I didn’t know I have
Thank you Havi, and all, for this incredibly rare thing.
Thank you, me-of-then, who found it and appreciated it right away.
And thank you for silence! I have – well, I am going – to speak through Sunday. But on Monday, I shall be observing silence.
I am excited for that!
Ah, the peacefulness of this post.
This sparked for me:
After yoga I notice how I drive with *alert relaxation* (not an oxymoron). And how much that makes everything better. By everything, I mean that singular moment. The moment there is ease in checking the blind spot. The moment my jaw is in a neutral position. The moment that sitting up straight is just a way of being, which lets me be a conduit for competence and authenticity and curiosity.
I have needed alert relaxation in my spirit. It feels great to remember how it feels in the body. Yay for the possibilities of the body and the mind and the appreciative integration.
Thank you, Passion, Wisdom, and Uncertainty.
Thank you, Mistakes, for all the new information you’ve given me.
Thank you, Discomfort, for guiding me to what feels right.
Thank you, Havi, for the gift of your beautiful words, and the heartfeelings they transmit. Thank you, dream angels, for such wonderful material. Thank you, Universe, for the many, many things I have to be thankful for tonight. Thank you to all who share and contribute to the gorgeous glowball (kind of like a snow globe but made of light) that is this community.
I don’t know how I found myself here…
…but I’m glad I did.
Somehow this post was just what my spirit needed this day.
Thank ???????????? you, Havi.