“WE ARE ALL HERE TOGETHER, GIVE THANKS,” Payson Stevens. THE BEST CAUSE TO CELEBRATE


The title of this blog comes from one of Payson’s dreams, which I abbreviate as follows. He’s in New York (by the way, most of his dreams begin this way: “I’m in New York . . . “) and performing in a play. He’s standing in the wings and remembers that he doesn’t remember his lines (oh, how often I have had that dream!). He’s getting more and more anxious, he steps onto the stage, and says, “We are all here together. Give Thanks!” The audience bursts into a deafening applause as it gives him a standing ovation.

Let me tell you by an example why this is so very important. Payson generally goes to sleep after me, and wakes up early. Yesterday the order was reversed. I woke up before him, went up doing the things one does upon waking up: these days, because of jet lag, I eat first before brushing my teeth, etc, etc. Yesterday suddenly I was gripped with worry as I flashed back to my friend, Dinaz, and her husband, Jean Charles.

Dinaz had woken up one morning in 2007, brushed her teeth, etc etc, perhaps even had breakfast (I don’t recall) before realizing Jean Charles was still not up. She went into the bedroom, and though I don’t the details — perhaps she snuggled back into bed with him and discovered his cold and stiff body — to find that he had passed away in his sleep.

I went into the bedroom and heard Payson’s gentle snoring and my heart soared in jubilation and gratitude. I realized that each day we awake from our sleep is cause for celebration and gratitude. Why must it take a death for us to realize this? Cannot we not remember this each morning as we awaken?

No, at this age, or at any age, one cannot live in this blunt and unconscious way of living unmindfully through our days.

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