Gregg Krech On The Revolutionary Practice Of Gratitude
To me, grace comes from an examination of one’s life in which you realize that you don’t deserve what you’re getting, yet you’re getting it anyway. That is the experience of grace, both practically and spiritually. If you want to put it in secular terms, it’s the difference between seeing life as an entitlement and seeing it as a gift.
“Your mother’s amazing,” my friends say. Several of them confide in her. They ask for and receive help from her on their deepest problems. Not me, though. She and I can sit in the same room for hours and barely speak. We’re like the north ends of two magnets, darting apart.
She tries to catch her breath, takes tissue after tissue from my box. I give her a glass of water, and we do some deep-breathing exercises. I tell her to go slowly. I assure her that the past is over, although I know it is a lie. The past is alive. It is with us every moment, our lives slim transparencies between past and present.
I spent ten years working in the Poetry in the Schools program in Washington State, Alaska, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming. I went from school to school helping kids write poems. Once, in Miles City, Montana, I was trying to get across to a group of sixth-graders the power of our senses — as well as the dislocation and excitement we feel when we do something out of the ordinary. So I asked them to lick a tree.