As our close friends know, we have never sent out Christmas cards. But we have always, for 40 years, sent out a Thanksgiving card in the conviction that gratitude is the best harbinger of the whole Christmas season. The cards represent my (Richard’s) feeble, once-a-year attempts at poetry, but we hope they carry robust love.
This year we wanted to share our Thanksgiving poem with our readers.
TAKEFORGRANTED VS. THANKSGIVING
A poem in three parts
1. The Glimpse and the Guilt
A glimpse — for just a moment,
I saw Linda as a light angel — the vision came, strong and sure,
As she taught our grandkids — then it faded.
For that instant I knew that, as much as I always love and appreciate her —
Day to day, every day —
There is another level — one that reaches into glory.
At times, unbidden, other brief spirit glimpses come —
Of earth, of family, of my own body,
Supernal little knowings, suffused with pure perspective,
And generating a flash of unspeakable gratitude and clarity.
These glimpses accuse and convict me of my less-aware usual state, and
Of the universal, tragic, human sin of takeforgranted —
Getting used to glory — to the point where we don’t see it anymore,
Don’t feel its joy.
Desensitized to the divine.
Could sin be defined as what robs us of joy?
2. A Corollary
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil,” said Burke,
“Is for good men to do nothing.”
“All that is necessary for the victory of flat, mediocre takeforgranted boredom,
Is for passion and striving and deep-feeling to drag and diminish.”
The numbing, car-chase superhero movie enthralls,
With special effects and cheap thrills,
And separates us from the soul stirring nuance of a Vivaldi concerto.
Excess technology and endless data dumb us down from art and excellence,
Routine and plenty rob us of mind-stretching challenge,
Concrete and convenience pave over rugged, real nature,
Can we keep all of the new and the now,
But learn to juxtaposition it with what it threatens to replace?
3. The Joy Thief
Gratitude, the joy catalyst,
Is constantly challenged by takeforgranted,
Which shoves down and submerges awareness and appreciation
Holding them under where they can’t breathe, beneath the dull weight
Of ease and entitlement.
At Thanksgiving, can we swim back up into consciously thankful joy?
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!