Gratitude Journal: Excerpts and Explorations
Today I love my life for successfully flirting a good flirt.
It’s been an ongoing discussion between B and I. “What even is flirting?!” I demand. B has multiple (and very good) examples and explanations, none of which come naturally to me. I use B as my flirtation sounding board. “I have a thing for forearms,” I try. “Whose?” he says. “You’ve got to make it specific.” I’m astounded at the idea of just telling someone that I like their forearms. Just saying it. Outright.
Later that night, we’re sitting next to each other in the theatre, watching the other cast rehearse. I rest my head on his shoulder, in that friendly, cuddly way that we theatre people do. But after a few moments, I sit up and whisper, “You smell too good to sleep on.”
B stifles his laughter, then says, “THAT was a good flirt.” I make him high five me.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Today I love my life for Patrick’s smile when I dropped my pen at rehearsal.
His words onstage are so full of life and it makes my spine hum. When he’s sitting offstage, he has this habit of taking his pencil and running it through his hair, up over his ears, along the sides of his head. A soothing habit.
I’m sitting across the room from him, and take my pencil and run it through my hair. Patrick is right, it does feel good. I look up and we make eye contact. I smile and run the pencil through my hair again. But it gets caught and clatters to the floor. I give him a sheepish look. And Patrick smiles, all the way from his chest to his eyes.
Friday, May 18, 2018
Today I love my life for listening to the rain while holding sleeping baby Michael.
Benjamin was almost two when Adele and Daniel moved here. And Nathan is almost two now. I’ve watched both of them learn to run, speak in longer sentences, ask questions that I don’t know how to answer.
But I only have a few short, precious months with Michael. The family will be in Arizona when he says his first words. I’ve been trying not to think about it.
Most of my memories of Michael will be of holding him while he sleeps, in the dim master bedroom, while Adele does the hundreds of other things she’s doing. His snuggled up warmth as we rock in the evening light.
Today, he’s asleep, his head against my chest in his moby wrap. We’re standing in a stranger’s kitchen, while Adele’s clear voice and the tones of her crystal singing bowls ring out from the other room. I’m here to hold the baby so that she can work uninterrupted.
Michael and I walk up and down, up and down the length of this kitchen. Something in his little baby self can tell when I’m not moving, and he stirs if I pause for too long. Outside, the rain comes pouring out of gutters, hits the wooden deck in soothing plunks, runs in rivulets down the windows. But there’s a stillness in it, too. In this moment, everything is still. I don’t have bills to pay or laundry to fold or work projects or auditions or lines to memorize. It’s just me and this rain, and Adele’s music, and this sweet baby boy sleeping with his head against my chest.
Saturday, August 4, 2018
Today I love my life for the hummingbird on the wire.
Oma and Opa have had the hummingbird feeder for at least 30 years. The guest shower has a window, chin-height, that looks right out onto it. I’m thinking about the autumn when I lived here, in 2008, when everything was falling apart, and the night when I was brushing my teeth at 2 or 3 in the morning, and some crazy bird sat outside that bathroom window and sang like it was welcoming the dawn. I wrote a poem about it—about that bird not giving a damn if it was the middle of the night and singing despite the darkness.
I glance out the window now, and see, in the morning light, a hummingbird circling the trees outside. And then it pauses in its frenzied flight, and lands neatly on the telephone wire above. Such a tiny thing. Hardly ever still. Its iridescent throat catches the light as it turns. It sits there for a full minute, a warm jewel in the sunlight. I watch it, feeling like everything is holding its breath, until it finally flies away.