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.