There's a story in "Tales From Eternity: Armageddon, Orgasms, Kittens and Gravity...Fun and Entertaining Pointers to Truth", where I describe my experience of gratitude while frying an egg in a pan one morning. On that morning, I knew what gratitude really is. To explain it with words is to describe the taste of an orange expecting the hearer to actually taste it. Words will not deliver the true meaning. You can only know it. And you do.
Recently, I've been revisiting that morning in the kitchen and I've wondered if I would have known that exact same sense of gratitude if something else were in the pan. What if broccoli was in the pan? What if a steak was in the pan? What if the limb of a humanoid was in the pan? Would the contents of the pan compromise the sense of gratitude?
An egg was in the pan, and I remembered. Gratitude was not about what was in the pan. Gratitude was knowing, seeing, and sensing my unbroken relationship to the frying egg (or whatever it was). The imagined name of the thing and the manufactured purpose of the thing has nothing to do with me...or us. The "egg" already knows what I'd struggled to actively forget.
Everyday was an exercise in forgetting. The day I fired God is the day I consciously got tired of deliberately trying to forget. It's quite exhausting.
Today I don't try so hard...though I still try. Remembering is not a choice. Every choice is a choice to forget. Every decision is a decision to forget. Every movement is a movement away from remembrance. And it's okay. Really, it's okay that I make this choice because while my last choice is my only choice, I can still make another one. There is no such thing as a good choice or a bad choice--there is only the choice to forget.
That day in the kitchen, and today while walking downstairs to make breakfast, somehow I didn't choose...and I remembered.
In the kitchen 4 years ago, it felt like the end of the world.
Today it feels like a new one.
I am gratitude...whatever that is.