#1 - There is show on public radio called "The Story" that I have listened to on a regular basis for a couple years now. I estimate that is close to 500 shows I've listened to and today is the first time I felt inspired to comment on the program.
#2 - For my second gratitude let's play a little game - Guess what is the topic of the program that inspired my need to contribute to the conversation? My sister-in-law got it on the third guess.
Take the time to do this now, I am serious we are playing a game here, I'm just looking for a general subject area. :)
#3 - I stopped numbering these a while ago because I kept getting the numbering messed up switching from my journal back to here. However, I wanted to note when I reached 5000 gratitudes. I haven't thought about this for quite a while, but on a walk today I was reminded and started doing a much of math in my head. I realized I am QUITE close (end of next week.) I'm happy I didn't miss it. I kept going on a math tangent and I laughed when I realized if I do this until my late 80's, I could reach 100,000. Finally I have something concrete to tell people when they wonder what I am doing with my life!
#4 - Something I found in my 2009 journal the other day written by a friend. It feels reassuring to me to read.
"Indeed it can seem like a lot of work to get a prayer up to God effectively. It's like trying to rank your website on the first page of Google. After God has assessed whether you are serious or not - whether you are communicating a heartfelt message or are just trying to spam him - He will send an appropriate response back to Earth. If your prayer has really been earnest, and God is impressed, He will sometimes suspend the humanly imagined limits of what is possible, and get back to you with a personal response. This is called a miracle. It's equivalent to getting a date with someone you feel is really out of your league. You know you're not worthy, but you're just so happy that the universe can be so good sometimes. You can hardly handle it because it's so blissful and makes the rest of your life just seem more or less to have been a waste of time! Why were you sitting on the couch for so long being depressed when such a great occurrence as this was possible? Who knows. But I guess if it weren't for all that couch sitting time put in, this moment wouldn't have arrived, and this miracle wouldn't have occurred. So I guess it's okay that all that couch sitting took place." Jed
#5 - This is the commentary I emailed to The Story.
"I spent a year as a teacher-in-residence outside of San Francisco teaching people where their food comes from. We had a 1 acre organic garden, as well as a few goats and sheep, 30 or so chicken etc. For half of my year the chickens were my daily chore. They were kept in a coop at night, but free to roam as far as their search for interesting food would take them during the day. During that year, I witnessed for the first time a chicken, and then a sheep that were slaughtered. I cried. Nobody tried to tell me this wasn't okay. I also was able to observe salmon swimming upstream in their natural habitat and the enormous life energy that requires. Despite arriving as a strict vegetarian, I left with a more open mind. Growing up in the city I was removed from the cycle of life, and I'd never witnessed people who deeply respected it also slaughtering and eating meat. It seems to me we need more reverence to life all the way around, that sometimes the animal rights groups are in such a state of reaction and anger that it makes it difficult to see this is what they long for too. It is no doubt their feelings are justified, we hide an often atrocious food system both in its environmental impact and its treatment of animals. However, it seems that because that system is so big and powerful it is easier to attack the smaller and often much more humane players."
So if you guessed the topic was FOOD - you got it right :).
P.S. If you are looking for a delightful read I recommend The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I checked it out for Thanksgiving weekend, but after being hooked by the first three sentences I couldn't wait that long to finish it.