Toni Stone Oct. 20, 2001
401 Buck Hollow Road
Fairfax, VT 05454
its one think to SAY THANK YOU. lots of people in the markets, cabs and shops do it every day,
mouthing the words THANK YOU, but thankful feelings can only be the case,
if one has spent some time to deepen those words into some emotional response, too, that matches THE WORDS THANK YOU.
it turns out that what brother David Stendl-Vast says is true, to be thankful requires a willingness to be surprised and not to reason that surprise away by rationalizing. . .being surprised is distinct from an attitude called, “i already know everything,
i can’t be surprised.” people seem to think being surprised is a sign of weakness,
stupidity or other ineptnesses.
WORDS OF THANK YOU are dry canals without FEELINGS OF THANK YOU,
moistening them up. thankful feelings change people, making them permeable,
approachable and vulnerable. . .being this way, we naturally move into some changing. we are changed by what surprises us, if we act into it. . .
that is, we do something different because it happened. . .that way, something new happens to us because surprise occurred.
i was surprised to see a beetle on the milkweed plant, by the pool. orange and black designs on the beetles back, were unbelievable to me.
i had never seen the likes of this. i found a book about beetles and investigated the type.
watching the plant and its black and orange beetles, i found out that milkweed attracts insects that are black and orange. . .monarch butterflies, too!
i made an embroidered patch of the beetle design. . .i began to be friendlier
to all insects, realizing they weren’t just a big mess of accident or dumb conglomerate of miasma. . .
it led me to meet a moth man and to have ladybug pets living in my office.
a new micro world understanding opened up from the original surprise. . .
there are many more thankful “bug” feelings so that i was
able to arrive at the mature decision not to kill flies, finally, this year.