thank you note

by erika

Dear Erika,

I have been thinking of you a lot lately, 2018 you, the you who just survived, and I wanted to write you a thank you note. I know that thank you notes are better written in ink, but our handwriting has gone to shit over the last few years and I wanted to make sure you can really hear everything I have to say.

Thank you for starting a practice of receiving joy, no matter how fleeting. I remember that first morning when you saw the light through the dappled lace of your room and you said, “ahhhh, I know this” (it was joy, small but true) and even though the rest of the day did not rise to meet that morning (you had a hard meeting, a son who tested your patience, and a tooth ache), at bedtime, you recounted that first moment as a triumph. And it was. It takes practice, this joy-locating. There’s no special astrolabe that spins its pivoted pointer and maps out the path toward true pleasure. But I want you to hear it from me–that practice pays off. Oh, we know joy now. mmm. Rich, honey-filled, sun-on-your-eyelids, tiny-hand-in-your-hand joy. But this easy joy started back when you began hunting for it in the rubble. Thank you for spending time in all that soul-sifting. Thank you for turning over the grey landscape, every rock, every memory, looking for the faint-tipped pushes of green. And then watering that would-be joy with your tears and sweat and the rest of the ice from your cup. We’re lying in the soft, non-itchy field of that joy stuff now and let me tell you, the wind and the sun and the sound of it all are just right. And you’re not even dead yet!

Love to you and infinite gratitude,

93 year-old e

p.s. your eyelids are still not as droopy as you think!