Gratitude Gram #4: Soaking it all In

One of my favorite words is the Japanese word komorebi, which refers to the interplay of light and leaves as sunlight shines through trees. It has other meanings too. It can refer to a melancholic longing for a person, place, or thing that is far away. Or it can refer to impermanence. Dappled light shows us that what is here will be gone in an instant. Nothing stays the same.

Mary Piper, A Life in Light

Sitting on our deck under leaves just turning colors, I read that fall is for soaking in the lessons and experiences of summer.

The thankful I feel now is different from the zest at the end of summer.  It’s slowing, cooling off, reaching for hoodies and hot tea.  I hope like me, you’re finding time to think back on the sunny times of summer, asking what might “fall” away to make room for what’s coming next.  I’m thankful for my bowling league, for beautiful Nebraska temperatures (if only for a bit), for still wearing sandals, and for soup.  May there be lots of soup this fall.

This and That

  • A book: Hell of a Book by Jason Mott. I wanted to dislike this–with its cheeky title and all its accolades, but I read the first half in one day.  If you love converging stories, try this out.  The first chapter introduces you to a boy who can make himself invisible.  From then on, I was hooked.
  • Worth a listen: As it Was by Harry Styles.  I heard this song was killing the European charts, so I had to see what all the fuss is about.  The synth sounds and broody lyrics get me thinking about life before cell phones and maybe about life before big things change, as they tend to do.  It’s fun.  It’s short.  
  • Worth a watch: The White Lotus.  At a friend’s recommendation, I binged this show on HBO Max.  I honestly can’t say I enjoyed it, but I’m glad I watched it.  I can’t quit thinking about it.  Parts of this show are so uncomfortable in the way that good art is.  Unsettling, re-setting, challenging.  Jennifer Coolidge is so much more than “Stiffler’s Mom” in this–she’s uncomfortable perfection.
  • Also worth a watchBrian Wilson: Long Promised Road. This bio-pic of the genius songwriter behind the Beach Boys made an hour plane ride feel like minutes.  This man’s creative man’s approach to song-writing once included making mathematical fractals with his hands on the keyboard.  In spite of ongoing hallucinations and mental paranoia, he creates some of the most iconic music of all time. . . I’m picking up good vibrations.
  • Something that’s inspiring me: One of my junior high students had been a bit down in the dumps lately, often by himself during our after lunch “recess” gym time, scrolling his phone.  Seeing him alone, another student broke off from the larger group to tap him on the knee to play football, just the two of them.  Compassion lives, even in adolescents.  

May right now be a time to slow down, a time to notice, and say thanks.

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