This year I give thanks for...
For letting me text her in the evening after the kids are in bed and I need to spill my newest and greatest fears. And for always answering my texts with a question, as in
Me: M has a rash and B didn't eat his peas and I just heard a mouse!
Christi: what then?
Really the rash, the peas, even the mouse in itself isn't so scary. It's the pathology I create - the rash is a symptom of some creeping cancer, infesting bedbugs, the bubonic plague, the feeling that I am not in control. Christi always asks me to follow my fear all the way through and make the story complete. And sometimes the dot dot dot is what I've been fearing the whole time so once I say it out loud or text it, I can actually laugh or at least see it as words instead of reality.
The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village
Led by the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, who visited New York City a few weeks ago and made me feel infinitely hopeful. The tickets were a gift from my father-in-law. The day was cool and bright. People were swarming the convention center dressed as thunderbolts and superheroes for a comic book convention. And I love the English language but "thank you" feels pretty weak to describe the deep gratitude I feel. For the nun who led 900+ people in a collective meditation, singing us a lullaby that poured through her small body; for the monk who taught us mindful eating, chewing his lettuce leaves so precisely; for the nun who told of wanting to forgive her father after an abusive relationship. And realizing she couldn't. But she could start from where she was and make him a cup of tea. Which is what she did and how she knew this Buddhist practice was for her.