Hello, Beautiful Beings.
You know how we often see articles on the positive impact on the brain and general wellbeing of gratitude? When you feel or express gratitude, you brain gets flooded with dopamine, which feels fabulous. Yeah, and some days I can wholeheartedly embrace the gratitude practice and some days it’s more of a stretch. Today, as I drove to our wonderful local café to meet a friend, I realized how much gratitude I had for the little things. I was so happy that my commute time was less than 10 minutes, that I found parking readily, that I knew I’d have a fabulous conversation with my beloved friend (and that we’d laugh & connect), that I’d enjoy a super yummy turmeric ginger tea. I even felt a rush of gratitude for the New Yorker radio program I was listening to on NPR. It felt so good to not just be thankful, but to be aware of it as well. And then I walked in the door and had to wait in line 10 minutes to order my tea. . . .. at which point I was grateful for patience. Heh heh.
‘Tis the season of gratitude. I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving celebration.
Tomorrow we’ll give thanks for the incredible talents of our beloved Jen Burner for she will be holding the space, providing the soundscape, and blessing us with her wisdom.
Two things to consider:
Lisa Dettloff’s memorial will be held tomorrow from 2-7pm at the Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto.Our annual holiday dance benefit is Tuesday, December 3rd from 7-10pm at the Masonic Hall, 888 4th Street in San Rafael. Please join us and bring a donation as well as socks and soap, which will be donated to Lava Mae to help our unhoused neighbors.
And here’s some poetry to nourish your soul: (whispered aside, I think of the first piece, by Jeff Foster, as narrative poetry---taking a broad interpretation of the term).
Perhaps you’ve read this 19 times already, but each time it touches me deeply. May the words of Jeff Foster touch you too.
You Will Lose Everything
You will lose everything. Your money, your power, your fame, your success, perhaps even your memories. Your looks will go. Loved ones will die. Your body will fall apart. Everything that seems permanent is impermanent and will be smashed. Experience will gradually, or not so gradually, strip away everything that it can strip away. Waking up means facing this reality with open eyes and no longer turning away.
But right now, we stand on sacred and holy ground, for that which will be lost has not yet been lost, and realising this is the key to unspeakable joy. Whoever or whatever is in your life right now has not yet been taken away from you. This may sound trivial, obvious, like nothing, but really it is the key to everything, the why and how and wherefore of existence. Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude.
Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar.
From blossoms comes this brown paper bag of peaches we bought from the boy at the bend in the road where we turned toward signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands, from sweet fellowship in the bins, comes nectar at the roadside, succulent peaches we devour, dusty skin and all, comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside, to carry within us an orchard, to eat not only the skin, but the shade, not only the sugar, but the days, to hold the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live as if death were nowhere in the background; from joy to joy to joy, from wing to wing, from blossom to blossom to impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
See you on the dance floor, Sweet Beloved Friends. May you have days when you live from joy to joy. May you eat your next peach or persimmon or whatever yummy food with this poem in mind, such a gift of sensuality and appreciation.
Sending love & hugs,