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Presence without the Giftwrapped "WHOOPEE!"

Thoughts about real gratitude

squirrel nibbling on an acorn
image courtesy of

On December 7th, 2023, for some reason, I woke up incredibly depressed. That’s what my journal said, anyway — and then I followed that statement with this:

Went upstairs and made myself a hot cup of water.

Stood at the slider, enjoying the cold floor

with the soles of my feet.

I noticed birds fussing around in the fallen leaves —

having breakfast? Keeping warm?

A squirrel dug up her acorn

and ate it right there in front of me.

The world goes on, no matter what I’m feeling,

how medicated or unmedicated I am.

There are simple things to appreciate,

even when the appreciation doesn’t come

giftwrapped with a whoopee!

I can just notice the simple things.

That’s fine by itself.

More and more, I get it.

It’s the giftwrapped whoopee! of forced gratitude

that keeps me from living in, from living with,

that keeps me from being nourished by

what is.


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