I wasn't going to add to the many lists of thanks out there, I really wasn't. But after reading all the well-thought-out and moving expressions of thanks on your blogs ... well ... I felt an urge to express some of my own gratitude to the universe.
So I went looking for a neat picture to express my feelings, and found something absolutely perfect. I love the image and so made it bigger than I usually do to show off the amazing detail. Here is what the artist has as text associated with the picture.
"The stained glass ceiling inside the Thanksgiving Chapel spirals upward to 58 feet in a crescendo of color, harmony, and form. It is called the Glory Window and designed by Gabriel Loire of Chartres, France, one of the greatest stained glass master of the 20th century. Gabriel Loire describes this progression: '...to express all life, with its difficulties, its forces, its joys, its torments, its frightening aspects. And then bit by bit, all that falls away and your arrive finally at a burst, an explosion of gold; you arrive at the summit.'"
The part that resonates with me is the idea of connecting the difficulties with life with the glories of life. I don't happen to buy into the imagery of climbing stairs to reach a summit of perfection - I do not see that as a helpful metaphor. I prefer to imagine our lives and our understanding as a flower blooming or a cocoon opening, each revealing the beauty that was there all the time. Still, this is so gorgeous, and somehow was a perfect expression of gratitude for me this year.
And here is some of what I am thankful for ...
1. Being alive. This is a stretch for me, since there are still times I wish I hadn't been born so I wouldn't know about pain. But I no longer want to check out now that I am here. I feel more brave. Or maybe just more stubborn, although that's much harder to imagine. In any case, I am glad that I have the options that life brings, the greatest being the chance to know what it is like to deeply love another person.
2. My spouse. The person who makes my continued healing possible, and gives me great reasons every day to want to keep at it. Constant help, love, and support. And lots of tea.
3. My family. Especially a sister with whom I am very close. Since I've had to part ways with some members of my immediately family, I cherish even more the connections with those I can maintain, and which are mutually edifying and beneficial.
4. My projects. I am glad to be well enough to really get involved in several creative endeavors that I have always enjoyed. Writing, making jewelry, doing crafts of all kinds, blogging, and so much more. These are the day-to-day things that give me the chance to be me.
5. The necessities of life and more. A safe home, plenty of good food, clean water, nice clothes, and fresh air.
6. My support network, mental and physical. Psychologist, psychiatrist, general doctor, physical therapists, acupuncturist, obgyn, spouse, family, friends, stuffed animals, and everyone who reads my blog, too! And a good network would not be possible without good health insurance - which I wouldn't have if my spouse did not have a good job. Really a blessing in tough economic times.
7. My friends. From close confidants, to beer buddies, and onto folks I chat with only occasionally, it is great to have all kinds of friends. Every moment they spend on me is a miracle, life is so short. Each of those minutes is a gift.
I could go on and on. Which is very, very nice to consider.
Your Hostess With Neuroses
Image credit/info: Heaven and Soul Connection by alicia-lee-07 on Flikr via Creative Commons