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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

Hot Off The Press

We had a wonderful visit and retreat over the weekend with a great group of 30 people and Russell Delman, who expressed his sincere appreciation for our community here in Salt Lake City. We do have an awesome village here, don’t we?

One of the themes from the weekend that is alive for me this morning as I sit at the computer is what Russell calls “getting it hot off the press.” When we speak, when we reflect, is it possible to get what is freshly alive, rather than yesterday’s news, or what I knew an hour ago?

Erin recently reminded of a wonderful scene from the delightfully quirky movie “I Heart Huckabees” where Jude Law’s character tells a story that sounds alive, fresh and spontaneous. Then, Dustin Hoffman’s character proceeds to takes out a tape recorder, and reveals that he has been secretly following Law around for the day, and plays him a recording of him reciting the exact same story, told in the exact same way, 7 or 8 times though the day. The look on Law’s face is priceless – embarrassment and revelation arising simultaneously.

I notice when I am asked a question that I’ve answered many times like, “How did you and Erin meet?” or “How did you get to Salt Lake City from New Jersey?” or “What is Feldenkrais?” It can be easy to select the file, press play, and essentially check out as the response rolls along. But when I pause, and let the telling have a listening to it, there is always new information, new insight, and surprises that come from my inner life.

Would it be possible to surprise yourself in your response the next time someone asks “How are you?”or some other common question you are asked? As though you did not know ahead of time, but were listening for This just in…

Wishing you life hot off the press this morning, and along with that I’ll offer a Derek Walcott poem that might support it.

Carl

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

-Derek Walcott

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