Saturday, February 23, 2008

Good Things

A few days back, I wrote about the frustration of trying to disentangle simple pleasures from a lifetime's habit of subconsciously categorizing all good things as a gift from God, and all bad things as tests of faith / sent from the devil / the unfortunate consequences of sin in the world as a result of the Fall in the Garden of Eden. That's a little more black-and-white than I want to be right now, but grey can get a little exasperating at times.

So, here are a few things that aren't grey, black, or white -- they're outside the monochrome spectrum of moral values, and are (at the risk of going all Martha Stewart on you) just plain Good Things.
  • freshly sharpened pencils
  • my really good-quality hand lotion from my secret pal last year
  • losing twenty-one pounds and having a discernible waist once again
  • the funky green velvet purse I got from the organic grocery store last summer
  • my current hair color (thanks to my longsuffering hair stylist, who once again talked me out of my misguided request for red)
  • waking up without an alarm clock because I've finally had enough sleep
  • my 5-year-old son's buzz cut (fuzzyhead!)
  • my Solar Power running socks, a gift from a friend who laughs at me when I say I'm solar-powered and hold up my hands to the sunshine
  • chocolate-covered peanuts
  • hot baths, accompanied by a new novel, a few Hershey kisses, and a screwdriver mixed with good-quality orange juice
  • the pungent scent of the lavender I occasionally steal from my neighbor's yard
  • putting the last stitch in a year-long needlepoint project
  • movies with neurotic heroines (usually played by Meg Ryan, as it happens)
  • crispy new dollar bills that have never been folded
  • the powerful, fulfilling sense toward the end of a good run that I could run forever
  • Richard Dean Anderson (SG-1 era, not Macgyver)
  • the "peace" kanji poster my husband brought back for me from Japan
  • my "pax" tattoo
  • salted oil-roasted cashews, which should probably be illegal from tasting so good
  • my daughter's unerring ability to "find a friend" at the playground
  • the achingly sad tones of Bach's Prelude in B-flat minor from the Well-Tempered Clavier
  • a bottle of Gentleman Jack that's been kept in the freezer
  • pressing my nose against the airplane window as it comes in for a landing into a city I'm visiting for the first time
  • crossing a finish line, sweaty, exhausted, and beautiful
  • Katharine Hepburn's laugh
  • finding old cards from friends I'd forgotten receiving, so it's almost like they're new
  • rude T-shirts
  • the second movement of Paul Creston's Sonata (for saxophone and piano), Op. 19, which is so deeply sensual as to be slightly unnerving when I'm performing it in mixed company
  • extra-sharp Tillamook Cheddar cheese
  • the scent of snow
  • the Golden Gate Bridge emerging from the fog
  • the roaring laugh of a friend
  • slowly falling asleep on a Sunday afternoon on the couch with my novel gradually drifting down to my chest

So many things to enjoy ... so many good things. It can't stay this dark for always, not with so many good things.

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