A half dozen years ago, I reminded myself during a bitter moment that I had life infinitely better than 90% of the world. I didn’t realize that I had spoken out loud until my companion snapped, “It doesn’t work that way. You’re supposed to have a good life; it’s not about comparisons.”
I shook my head. “All I meant was — “. Then I stopped. All I meant was, I don’t want to complain when so many people go to bed hungry, I thought. But I saw no use in explaining. You get it or you don’t. You appreciate your opportunities or you lament whatever degree of short-changing you perceive the universe as forcing you to endure.
The wind shakes my tiny house. Rain hammers against the windows. But the view from here seems cozy, with the warm expanse of wood and the flicker of the fan’s shadow. The storm settled over the valley late last night. On the way home from the grocery store today, I watched a half dozen cranes sweep across a field flooded for their use. From the side of the road, I tried to photograph an egret’s flight. The wind drove rain into my face. I lifted my eyes to follow the bird’s easy rise until I could no longer discern its shape against the clouds.
It’s the sixth day of the sixty-first month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.