Friday, February 1, 2019

Five-Word Mantra

(Rabbit!) February has arrived. What a strange month! The time when the Chinese lion sends Valentines to Lincoln, Washington and Harriet Tubman. When the Superbowl players get an Oscar while the groundhogs peek their heads out to watch. A short month, but a lot going on! 

After my morning meditation, I thought about what I’d like February to bring me and what I’d like to bring to February and it struck me forcefully—mostly more of the same of everything I’m doing and feeling. I’m not waiting for Jesus to save me or for a winning lottery ticket to drop through the mail slot or the unknown fantasy love-of-my-life to wink at me at the coffee shop. Mostly, my petition to the February gods is continued good health, proficient piano fingers, alive imaginative class-planning and book-writing and blogpost entries, enough rain mixed with some welcome sunny days, unbroken good relations with the children I teach, a good movie or two on my long Singapore flights and so on. Of course, I would be thrilled for an impeachment announcement on President’s Day and wouldn’t turn down an interview with Terry Gross or the news of my Grammy-nominated CD. And I certainly would accept the offer to be given a great price for a house or two in San Francisco for my kids. Still enough desire driving my days that I have one eye out for the next opportunity around the corner. 

But truth be told, no free trip to a tropical island would make me happier than I am at this moment in my life. The life I’ve always dreamed of living is mostly the life I am living and though it’s hard work, I simply can’t imagine things more joyful than each class I get to teach at school, each Friday afternoon playing piano and singing with the 90-year-olds, each time the music flows freely from the fingers or even a walk to the corner store past the blossoming plum trees. 

And so my hope for February is a five-word mantra from a sleeper movie I once saw on a plane:

Happy. Thank you. More, please.

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