Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Something’s Amuck in Paradise



My first brilliant thought this morning: Something’s amuck in paradise. No coffee. No newspaper. And the phone rings, bearing wild anxiety from a woman I sponsor.

Mr. Coffee steams like mad to produce a thimbleful of lukewarm coffee. A hike into the colder-than-crap outdoors produces no newspaper. Both are essentials to awaken my bleary brain and allow me to produce speech. So I’m pretty pathetic when my frantic friend calls about her new medical insurance bill.

I tell my friend to hit her knees, then unearth the old percolator from the garage’s camping gear and crack open my morning meditation book, which discusses faith overcoming all adverse conditions.

That’s when my husband enters, bearing a hot latte and the newly arrived newspaper.

My Higher Power’s sense of humor is busy on a chaotic Wednesday morning.

The phone rings again: A service technician wants to postpone today’s scheduled maintenance so he can fix the heaters of those who are without heat on this 21-degree morning. Again I’m reminded that things could always be worse. I could be flat-broke like the woman I sponsor. I could be both broke and frozen too like others whose heaters aren’t working. I could be headed for chemotherapy this afternoon, like my own AA sponsor, or for radiation, like a man my hubby sponsors.

I shouldn’t ever take my first brilliant thoughts seriously. I can be as sour as I want to, or as joyful, because I’m free to start my day over again any time I like. By returning to a position of gratitude, by remembering to be thankful for what I have, I can make my home a better place in which to greet the world.

Today I have no legitimate complaints, as a man used to say in the early AA meetings I sat through 22 years ago. My humorous Higher Power converts even trivial adverse conditions into teaching moments about the value of faith. There’s nothing at all amuck in paradise today.


Scenes of Winter

The catfight wind yowls
churning the shrubbery
scrabbling over fences
staggers even the stoutest trees.

The stalk of a budded lily
arrow dipped in blood
aimed at heaven
quivers in its invisible bow.

The moon’s white opal
glows on blue velvet
rainswept with diamonds
swallowed by clouds.

Inside your love
is a woolly blanket
abrasively delicious
on a bitter night.





What reasons do you have to be grateful today?
Over at Poetry Jam people are pondering the power of home.

14 comments:

The Bug said...

Oh you do put thinks in perspective don't you? I only have everything to be grateful for :) Maybe I'll even do a Thankful Thursday post tomorrow!

LOVE the abrasive woolly blanket of love - I think this describes most real relationships to a T!

Elisabeth said...

That catfight wind, Chris-what a wonderful image- can settle down when as you suggest we appraise the awful aspects of our situations and recognise that things could be worse. Which is not to raise the spirit of Pollyanna, but to temper despair.

Kristin H. said...

"I shouldn’t ever take my first brilliant thoughts seriously. I can be as sour as I want to, or as joyful, because I’m free to start my day over again any time I like. By returning to a position of gratitude, by remembering to be thankful for what I have, I can make my home a better place in which to greet the world"

This, is the best thing I've read all month.

Thank you.

Indigo said...

Take a deep breathe, exhale, start all over again...Gorgeous post dear friend. (Hugs)Indigo

Carrie Burtt said...

I love the thought of a catfight wind.....this is a mouthfull for sure....love the message in your whole post Chris!! Gratitude and our attitude is a daily journey isn't it?....It is wonderful that you are a sponsor! My son's sponsor has been such a blessing for him. I am truly grateful for that!!! :-)

Margaret said...

The second stanza got me! Wow, just wonderfully imagined.

The stalk of a budded lily
arrow dipped in blood
aimed at heaven
quivers in its invisible bow.

Sigh...

Mary said...

So often I think that paradise is a function of our mind. WE are responsible for making it so...or not. And I think, as I think you were indicating, that oftentimes if we look at those around us, we DO live in paradise for sure.

Titus said...

Love that photo!
And the story, and the point, and the poem and especially

abrasively delicious
on a bitter night.

Brian Miller said...

smiles...that is some wooly blanket...and my HP has got a definite sense of humor...even if i dont always get it...smiles.

Steve E said...

Running late this morning, but still wanted to read this twice...it is SO good! Thank you.

From our Big Book, p 86
How do our directions for continued maintenance begin? "...On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead...we ask God to direct our thinking...divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives..."

Helen said...

Grateful + home = happy. Beautiful poem, Chris.

Lolamouse said...

That's beautiful! Love can make anywhere and anything feel better.

Promising Poets Parking Lot said...

blessings...

what an expression.

make a contribution to us if you could, bless you.

myheartslovesongs said...

i understand the need for coffee to get the mind going ~ my daughter {a morning person} and i {not} have had a deal that she can talk all she wants in the mornings and i will happily listen as long as she doesn't expect me to respond. {smile}

i love this post and poem, Chris!

dani ♥

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