Joanna Macy, renowned Eco-philosopher and spiritual activist makes the claim that gratitude is subversive in her book "world as lover, world as self."
I about fell off my yellow aluminum chair a moment ago when I read it.
When I am in a really cranky place and people tell me to try gratitude -- frankly I want to tell them to go stuff it. When I look around and list everything I am grateful for it does seem to plug the leaking boat.. The sinking ship of emotions. But you are still left sloshing around in all the negative thoughts that got in before the gratitude activity.
But "gratitude as subversive?" .. This is yummy because it appeals to the irate and rebellious one who wants to stay that way. Subversive, yes, I feel like something subervesive.
So what did she mean by this?
She meant, she says, that "thankfulness loosens the grip of industrial society by contradicting the predominant message: that we are insufficient and inadequate"
Ahhh! Terrific. I just want to dance when I read that. We don't need more clothes, a nicer bank teller, or a bigger tax refund (all good things)...
We need to yell "blech!! I feel like crap and I am totally grateful anyway. So take that you racket"
So here it is, I am grateful for
1. This weebly app that allows me to write this blog on location
2. That the rain has stopped at least for today
3. The fact I just remembered I need to get a Father's Day card
4. That I live in an apartment and don't need to change my windows each season
5. That I no longer seem allergic to yellow jacket bees
6. That it seems no matter what city you visit pigeons and squirrels are always there - kind of reassuring
7. That Renoir's "the boat party" lives at the Phillips collection and I can visit it anytime.
Ok. So I no longer feel cranky or the need to be subervesive... Writing that list made me feel like I wanted to go illustrate a children's book.. But I needed Macy to lure me in with "subversiveness" so the rebellious teenager inside could calm down enough to enjoy this precious day.
"What will you do with this one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver