Sunday, February 21, 2010

Alphabet Grace

My daughter Lucia loves the alphabet. She loves to sing it, sign it, write it. She loves to discuss it, ¨Mom, did you know that the ABC song is the exact same tune as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?¨ On a recent trip to the airport Lucia was stuck in the back seat with her howling four-month-old cousin Sam. Lucia´s attempt to placate Sam was to sing the ABCs in a lullaby voice. Didn´t work, but great idea.

Last night I finished reading Lit, Mary Karr´s third memoir which, among other things is about getting sober. At one point Mary is balking at the idea of a higher power and buying into the idea of letting go, her sponsor tells her to get over herself and start being grateful for what she has. Her sponor´s perscription-- write down from A-Z things for which she is grateful. Only when pushed to the point of almost relapse does Mary engage in this ridiculous activity. And it turns out to be deeply satisfying and comforting.

Last night, while struggling to find sleep in the pitch blackness of an unfamiliar single bed in a Oaxaca Hostel, next to my snoring mother, I decided that I should meditate in search of slumber. I started by laying in Savasana on my conveniently hard mattress, but soon my mind wandered. I couldn´t ¨chillax¨as one of my yoga teachers says. I decided to try the alphabet idea.

Initially, I felt, as Mary Karr had in her first attempt at the assignment, silly. But the truth was, I was basically trapped in a state of insomnia and I needed to try something. In my mind, eyes opened to the blackness around me, I silently recited 26 things for which I am grateful from A for amor (love) to X for being on the other side of an 'ex'. I wasn´t close to being asleep, so I tried it again. I don´t remember what I was thankful for after S for swimming, so it must have worked.

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