1974, August: Marcy’s gratitude lists

Mixed in with the letters were a set of a dozen pieces of paper (most 4½" x 6", a couple 4½" x 7"), on each of which Marcy wrote a list of things that she was grateful for on a particular day. (Written in a variety of pen colors and pencils.)

It looks like she started out writing a list every day (starting on the 3rd), maybe intending to do one each day for the month of August, but she ended up skipping half the days. (Or else some of the lists have gotten lost.)

I’m not sure how George and Helen ended up with these lists. But I’m glad that they preserved them with the letters; I like the view into Marcy’s day-to-day life.

3 August 1974

Thank You for

  • a working irrigation system
  • chicken coop—help from Danny
  • future-scary novels I’m not at all sure that that word says “scary,” but that’s my best guess
  • puzzles & games
  • cleaning & being clean; cleaning tools
  • work
  • solitude
  • metanoia
  • bypassing x old boyfriends
  • help with dinner
  • people with things in common
  • good water, filtration system
  • vitamins
  • sleep

4 August 1974

Thank You For

  • learning about chickens
  • help from friends
  • pizza for dinner
  • Joaquin’s knowing how to take his own nap
  • George’s chicken capture
  • Jed’s patience
  • talking to Carol
  • Peter’s kitchen blitz
  • tomorrow

5 August (written Aug 6 morning)

Thank You for

  • abundance expressed in shopping
  • chickens safely found
  • chicken coop built
  • help from Peter
  • a good dinner
  • kittens
  • cats
  • praise
  • feeling accomplishment
  • continuing learning Zen Gen Sanji
  • end of headache
  • menstruation

6 August written Aug 7 morning

Thank You for

  • The chickens laying eggs
  • Ivan’s party being over
  • George’s interesting visit to Dr. Gamyler Uncertain of name
  • pleasant company & state of mind of late yesterday evening
  • awarenesses of peoples’ consciousness, however dimly
  • Peter & me supplementing each other
  • Ari Pat P.J.
  • Ivan & George’s waterskiing
  • Sufi music

7 August 1974

Thank You for

  • good people to fix cars
  • awareness & unity in politics (to whatever extent it may exist)
  • Pat & Leslie
  • William Irwin Thompson
  • P.J. & Shannon & Kristen
  • music
  • good music in my head
  • treading water
  • Thank You Right Now For Your Love

August 10

Thank You for

  • toys & presents
  • good traveling food
  • eggs & chickens
  • Cherry tomatoes—the one I ate & the one the chickens ate
  • good dinners
  • writing with Ivan
  • early sleep

August 16, 1974

Thank You for

  • awareness of other peoples’ heads
  • good times & independent leisure
  • hard work & learning about bike riding
  • Elaine Morgan
  • letter writing
  • bank accounting
  • promise of Rooster
  • friendly chickens
  • a wonderful family, filled with light
  • Thank You

Note: August 17 was her 31st birthday, but there’s no list for that day.

August 18, 1974

Thank You for

  • meeting George’s mother
  • Al & Sherrie
  • Carol & a lovely dinner
  • interesting remembered feelings
  • Sake
  • prayer for Brenda
  • PJ’s work
  • Papa Rooster
  • Larry
  • Ivan’s good trip—as long as it was
  • Peter & Jed & Joaquin’s continued safety
  • Peace & space
  • Peter’s parents call
  • Thank You Right Now for Your Love!

22 August 1974

Thank You for

  • Sufi music
  • clean kitchen
  • new beach
  • being/becoming a sewanin
  • bale of hay
  • work being done
  • Dr Bliss
  • Nature farming

23 August

Thank You for

  • realizings about animus projections
  • Fairy tales interpretation book
  • gestalt of realizations—how it all dovetails, by design
  • tonight in my own bed
  • lovely lacewing landing on my hand
  • Our dog’s name, foster puppy
  • Zac & Moira coming
  • Darel’s visit & subsequent realizations about my expectations of perfection
  • worlds opening up
  • the head you gave me (= the head I made/took me)
  • Danny
  • Zen & Japanese Culture
  • a lot to be thankful for in a day that didn’t seem that way
  • book about mistresses

28 August 1974

Thank You for

  • Johrei for Jerry
  • good energy exchange with Jerry
  • pyramids
  • good dog books
  • Zack & Moira
  • Our dog’s name!!
  • Dr Susan Hoffman
  • Etna & Inu’s graciousness
  • corn & biscuits
  • vegies
  • Richard Kahn
  • letting loose

August 30, 1974

Thank You for

  • Darel
  • Rae getting Johrei
  • a smooth-running motor (almost)
  • Carol Lester’s book
  • Peter’s phone call
  • Peter & Jed & Joaquin’s continued safety & happiness
  • abundance
  • purification
  • fasting
  • Reverent Imuta & Shig
  • Sufi music
  • the chance to be a Sewanin
  • Sleep
  • Thank You right now for Your Love


Named people
I don’t know who most of the listed people are. One was probably a particular longtime family friend who we later had a very complicated/difficult history with, but most of the other names are unknown to me. (Except for the foster kids who she mentions here, of course: George, Ivan, and Larry.)
“bypassing old boyfriends”
I feel like there must have been a story behind this phrase, but I don’t know what it was.
“Zen Gen Sanji”
Zengen Sanji is a prayer from our church, with connections to Shinto and Buddhism. A web search suggests that it’s one of the church’s major prayers, but I don’t remember it at all.
Sufi music
Specifically the music of the Sufi Choir, a sort of California-hippie version of Sufi music. We had two of their albums, the Blue Album and Cryin’ for Joy. I don’t know much about Marcy’s musical tastes; the only specific music that I know she liked was these albums, various Gilbert & Sullivan shows, and the Clancy Brothers album The Boys Won’t Leave the Girls Alone. (All of which appealed to me more than Peter’s tastes, which ran mostly to jazz and the Grateful Dead.)
I still have those two Sufi Choir LPs. I took them to college with me, and played bits of them a couple of times for friends; the universal response was "Wow, that's really 1970s, isn't it?" But I still love some of the songs.
At some point, a Best of the Sufi Choir CD came out. In 2004, it was made available on Apple’s music store, and it still is. (If you’re curious, you can listen to previews of the songs on it.)
But that album doesn’t include all of the music from the two records I have. So I was delighted, while researching for this post, to discover that all six of the Sufi Choir albums (including four that I had never heard of until now) are available for purchase and download from Cold Mountain Music, the original publishers. It turns out that William Allaudin Mathieu, the founder of the Sufi Choir and author of most of their songs, is still alive and working in Sebastopol, near where we were living in 1974. I’ve now emailed him to thank him for the music.
William Irwin Thompson
See Wikipedia: William Irwin Thompson.
Elaine Morgan
I’m guessing she’s referring to Elaine Morgan, whose book The Descent of Woman had been published a couple years earlier.
“letter writing”
That was the day that she wrote the previous letter.
“Peter & Jed & Joaquin’s continued safety”
As detailed in previous letter, we were off on a trip to Colorado hot springs.
Web searches suggest that in the context of our church, the word means something like “caretaker,” maybe referring to something like people who do outreach to the community and spread the word? I’m not sure.
Dr. Bliss
May have been a chiropractor. (There is a chiropractor of that name who appears to still be practicing in that area, after over 50 years of practice, but I’m not sure it’s the same person.)
“Fairy tales interpretation book”
I’m speculating that she may have been referring to the 1970 book The Interpretation of Fairy Tales, by Jungian psychologist Marie-Louise von Franz.
our dog
I didn’t remember that we had our dog back then! I’ve redacted her name, because name-of-pet is sometimes a security question. It kinda sounds like the dog was new to us at this time, but I don’t think there’s any mention of her in the letters.
Dr. Susan Hoffman
A web search led me to someone of that name who’s been practicing in Santa Rosa since 1974. Don’t know whether that’s the same person.
“smooth-running motor”
This is a reference to a Sufi Choir song called “Thank You,” which includes the lines “thank you for a smooth-running motor / thank you for the smell of oil.”

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