Dirty Laundry

Leonard is getting used to the 4:30 walk, the new route, the passing freight train. Every morning is a little darker. But I’m guessing it means every morning brings a little more mystery, a little more of a demand to focus, to be alert. Alert but not alarmed. Not on guard. Not braced.

That’s all about me, not him, I suppose.

On Tuesday I got a massage and the therapist told me my muscles hadn’t been this loose for a very long time. I think it’s odd, considering how much pain I feel. My left shoulder, my right achilles. But yeah: there seems to be an ease around my solar plexus, and the feeling that someone has unbuttoned my sternum to let it all hang out, so to speak. So many images come to mind: wrung washclothes, snapped open and hung to dry and stiffen in the still afternoon, unfurled and perfect ferns exposed to the summer’s harsh sun because that is the way of the world. There’s no getting through it unscathed. Might as well relax for the ride.

This morning I am considering gratitude. And fortunes: good and bad. I’m trying to step back and find perspective enough to let go of “good and bad”, but find it confusing in connection to gratitude. I have been thinking about my relationship with my mother and the estrangement. And in this particular “unbuttoning” I find nothing I would have done differently. Nothing I regret in terms of my choices, my behavior. Isn’t my gratitude for this peace a kind of judgement? That this is “good”? The good perspective in the bad?

I looked up gratitude and it comes from the Latin word gratus which means pleasing or thankful. Does this mean we are grateful for what pleases us? Maybe it is our job to trace our thoughts through connections of phenomenon until we find a consequential “good” to be thankful for?

I don’t know. Even though it feels like the good thing to do, it looks an awful lot like rationalization. An intellect forever in service to emotions. Forever seeking pleasure.

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