The best antidote to the furtive poison of anger, fear, anxiety, or any of our destructive, unwieldy passions, is just gratitude. And not the grandiose, boisterous or especially obvious kind. It is not necessarily the verbose or expressive kind. It's often the full immersion, a kind of deep submersion even, into a pool of awareness. This penitent affect distills within us surreal realizations; it is a focus, tinged with layers of deep remorse and the profound beauty of newfound appreciation that washes over us about the simplest things we have slipped into, or suddenly become aware of our own complacency over. This cooling antidote instantly soothes any veins swollen with the heat of pride, or stopped up with pearls of finely polished self-pity. This all comes about with a balm of humility that is simultaneously soothing and jolting to all of our senses at the same time. It is a cocktail both sedative and stimulant in the same, finite instant. It often occurs as we are halted dead in our tracks by a thing so extraordinary and breathtakingly natural, even luscious in its simplicity and unusually ordinary existence; often something we have been blatantly negligent of noticing as we routinely trudge past it in our self-absorbed haze. These are akin to the emotions one might feel as they finally notice the well-established antique rose garden, in full bloom; the same one they have walked by for years on their way to somewhere - but never noticed before. This is the feeling we get when our aging parent suddenly, in one moment, is 87 in our mind's eye - and not the steady 57, or eternal 37 we have determinedly seen our so loved one to be, out of purely wishful thinking born of the denial that only the truest love and devotion can begin to nurture - for the better of many decades.
Connie Kerbs