Notice: Today I compose an essay, rather than, as yesterday, a list. For I realize that my gratitude flows towards many more, and seeps into the interstices of experience, and spans the worlds, both visible and invisible. So let’s begin:
After making my list, and checkin’ it twice, I realize that, except for my three close family members now in spirit (Mary, Mom, Dad) I did not mention others, dear old friends and soul mates who live on, infused into my heart, despite having dropped their bodies one by one over the last few decades. These include three of my four husbands! (Yes, I do masquerade as the Black Widow). Here’s a special mention to each of them:
I am grateful to Patrick, my brilliant, inventive, self-actualizing, narcissistic first husband, and father of our two sons, for forcing me to develop my own ego, in order to combat his; and then, decades later, a few years after he died, I was then and am now grateful to him for saying “I am sorry” and “you were right.” This sudden shocking bleed through from the spirit world (can you imagine a narcissist apologizing? Another miracle!) came through a psychic acquaintance who had called me out of the blue, ostensibly to talk about something else, but Patrick interrupted.
(BTW: Second husband Dick, former high school boyfriend and dear friend forever, is still in body. YES!)
I am grateful to third husband Phil, the brilliant, politically astute, former “Black Beret” he said, and for me, the archetypal ” bad man,” my Jimmy Dean, whose alcoholism induced liver disease taught me in one year that I simply cannot “save” another.
A few years later, I realized that all the while with Phil, I had needed to save myself from my own addiction to cigarettes. My need to save Phil was an unconscious projection.
And especially, I want to express my enormous gratitude to Jeff, my fourth husband, and the one whom I did not divorce before he died! Indeed, our twelve-year partnership was by far the longest in my peripatetic journey through primary relationships. I wrote a book documenting my grieving process while living alone in a new town, during the year after he died of a heart attack. Just as I began my work as a writer by keeping journals, back in the ’60s when Aniais Nin got all us newly ordained “feminists” on that path through her Diaries, so now, after he died, I returned to the journal in order to consciously process my own experience during that profound period of time. Solitude turned into a rich treasure, that I am even now, 15 years later, harvesting in the evolving manifestation of Green Acres Permaculture Village. Starting in the same exact place, this house, I and others are building one small template for the future of suburbia: an intergenerational village, with chicken house, toolshed, three greenhouses and soon to be Community Room and a bit farther off, a sauna. We are slowly stirring all the the many and various groups of species here into a rich, resilient stew that encourages both heightened individuality and mutual flourishing, while realizing our greatest teacher is Earth herself.
All this, this tiny new world! —inside a dying empire. All this, and it’s fun. Why not. What do we have to lose?
So yes, I am grateful to the many many people who are working now and who have worked together through nearly an entire decade, to make the Green Acres Village dream come true.
Then there are the others in my family of heart, pre-Green Acres, who have disincorporated along the way. In fact, during that same phone call with the psychic, she also told me that a female voice kept trying also to butt in, calling me “Annie.”
“Did you know someone who called you that?” I racked my brain. “No!”
“Oops! I say now, for Ella had always called me “Annie” in this life, and damn I miss the ’70s, riding horses in the Sawtooths with her and talking about our looping, sometimes loopy Sagittarian lives.
There are other dear ones, of course, who have discarded their bodies. As I continue to age, no doubt their rate of dissolution will accelerate. Unless I die first, of course.
I am grateful to all humans dear to me, whether of blood, or heart, or both, whether or not they are yet in bodies! I am grateful to all of them equally and ask that we continue to get along!
Fiually, those times I’ve almost died, and there have been many, I am also thankful for, extremely so. What else instantly wakes me up, once again, to the “miracle” (i.e, the guides who magically assist me) that saw me through yet another “close brush with death”? And what, other than a near brush with death, suddenly and totally recalibrates my life priorities? Distractions strip away to reveal, once again, essence as the bones of my path, the one that formed me, the one I alone am meant to pursue, “or die trying.” So yes, I use these sudden strange near-death dramas to return, again and again, to what really counts: life on this beautiful planet, living breathing pulsating life in this small body enclosed in the primal aliveness exhibited by Mother Earth, and her cosmic immersion in the solar system, the galaxy, and beyond; quivering worlds both both visible and invisible, both noticed and not. I am because we are.
Which means in the end, I am extremely, extraordinarily grateful for the fact that I am never, ever alone, no matter how separate and individual I may appear to others. Rather than being “alone,” I am all-one, with invisible guides protecting me, with decades of memories coloring my evolving perception, and with an expanding multiplicity of dimensions continuing to emerge through my own small body in resonance with all that is.
So again, Amen!