When I started the “Gratefulness Project” I had the rather grandiose idea I would write letters every day to express my gratitude. I wrote two. One to God and the other to my mother.
The next thing I did was write about how I was grateful for my students, and it came out as an essay rather than a letter. Next was a short entry about being grateful I have no time for much except loving my people, whatever that looks like, which is usually not writing. So true. And yet while it’s true I am grateful for a full life of loving my people, loving myself means I make at least a little time for writing something non-academic, like this blog. Always, it seems, we are beginning again.
The Gratefulness Project languishes. Like many of my best laid plans. The letter idea feels weird, too forced in a way to try to do this every day. I want to be free to write letters if I want, and not, if I want. So since I’m a grown up and theoretically can do whatever I want I’m releasing myself from that structure. I will write letters when I’m in the mood. Obviously, that’s what I’ve done. And we can see I’ve not been in the mood much since January.
I have, however, stayed in the mood for gratefulness. Maybe more specifically, just mindfulness. Mindfulness of whatever makes me grateful. So I’m submitting this amendment to the Gratefulness Project: in lieu of anything grandiose, although letters and essays may still happen from time to time, I’m just going to post one thing each day that I’m grateful for/mindful of.
And here is that thing for today:
See him? Look closely and you’ll see Patch there in the bottom corner of the window. Ears at attention.
You know how Willy Loman’s wife says, “Attention must be paid!” And it’s tragic because she recognizes the world doesn’t really care about the life of an ordinary man.
The Italian neorealist Cesare Zavattini lamented that Hollywood doesn’t care and in Bicycle Thieves he set out to make us care. To make us pay attention.
Patch pays attention. Us driving up in our black minivan after a day of work and school, finally home for an ordinary evening, merits focus. This is all Patch really cares about. The world could learn a lot from Patch. Click To Tweet