i don’t believe in a sentient universe or an omniscient god; i’m not smug enough to say i know what’s out there, if anything, but i can say with some certainty that it’s not lining our lives up like bowling pins and changing the course thereof with a well-aimed flick of the wrist.
i do, however, believe that life offers gifts and opportunities. it offers these things blindly, with no thought or concern toward who might pick them up or what might be done with them, or even the knowledge that they have been placed. they are simply there. they are gravel that we walk on, and we can choose to see the patterns in the rocks or we can walk on, complaining that our feet are sore without realizing it might have been an easier path had we bothered to put on shoes.
(i’m full of biscuits and gravy, omelets, hot cocoa and metaphor this morning. forgive the sappiness here, please.)
a friend implied this morning that it was dumb to express gratitude today because today has been designated to do so. he and i are generally on the same page in regard to society; we’ve have many all-night conversations, railing in our post-punk apocalyptic manner against Them and They and the fuck-all that society stands for and expects and destroys. i disagree with him here, though. i think to deny your gratitude today is to play into what They want-a nation of automatons, lemmings falling into the sea of apathy, led by the holy leader television. today should be an And, not an Only. if we remember today how thankful we are, we might still recall tomorrow, and the next day, and then maybe one day we’ll forget to be disconnected and disenchanted and gratitude will be second nature.
another friend has “gratitude” taped to various surfaces all over his house.
i can’t tell you who is happier, but i can tell you which of my friends seems more content in life-and it’s not that blind, dumb, apathetic contentment. it’s joyful contentment, true gratitude for where he is.
i love both of these guys, but if i have to choose a side, i’ll err on the side of extraneous gratitude.
my life has not always been easy, but whose has? right now, some things are harder than they have been in a long time, but other things are going better than i ever could have imagined-and you all know my imagination. had i not taken and accepted and appreciated the gifts i’ve been given, what i’m struggling with now might have been impossible. i might be going through hard times alone, rather than surrounded by this incredible network of family and friends that i’ve built over the years.
i am grateful, most of all, for the gift of love, and that i was able, finally, to accept it. from my children, my family, and my partner in crime… there is nothing better in the world.
i will always be cynical, and probably more jaded than i have a right to be. i may never achieve my sweetheart’s level of optimism, opting instead for cautious realism with a side of something that’s almost-but not quite-hope. but i will always be grateful for who i am, and where i am, and most of all, who i have beside me.