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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

On a Tuesday

 

 

 

 

Today I woke in the dark and was busy

making lunches during the sunrise,

though surely it happened. And I drove

 

in the low morning light along

the San Miguel River for half an hour,

not once noticing the color of the water,

 

the scent on the banks, though past

experience leads me to believe

that there were thousands, millions,

 

of tiny beautiful miracles happening

there in that half hour alone. How much

beauty is lost on me every day, every moment?

 

Though as I stepped out of the car

to walk into work, I saw, stuck to my boot, one

brilliant orange aspen leaf outlined in gold,

 

and for a whole minute, I stared at it,

marveled at its symmetrical veins,

its delicate stem, the astonishing intricacy

 

of its edges. How easily gloriousness finds us, sticks

to us even. How wholly available, this art

of meeting the glittering, luminous world.

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You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.

            —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

 

And though the leaves blush golden and red

and though the sun cups my face like a hand

and though the chill air makes me catch my breath

 

the wind whispers, friend, remember your death.

And I feel so deeply, so wildly alive

as I climb the hill, slight burn in my thighs

 

but I cannot pretend I am deaf

as the wind whispers soft, remember your death.

The Roman generals had their slaves

 

whisper to them in their moments of greatness,

remember your death—even as the crowds cheered—

to help them remember be humble, be here.

 

And the wind whispers yes, whispers yes to me.

And reminds me to take each step gratefully.

Remember your death, it says. Live now.

 

And with every step, though I don’t know to whom,

I say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

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One Gratitude

 

 

sending the world

a giant thank you note—

whisper on the back porch

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it was never meant to last,

this life, though we tell ourselves

we’re different, though we tell

ourselves we matter. But the planet

is patient. And the sky is older than that.

The bones in the exhibit hall are proof.

 

Still, as I drive the seven hours to home,

I am careful to stay in my lane,

careful to miss the dead lump of what once

was a bird, to use my turn signal,

to wave thanks at the truck driver

who let me into the flow.

 

It may not go on forever, but

for now there is this chance

to learn about communion.

There is this chance

to see just how generous

we can be with these drying bones.

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I decided to take

the invitation seriously.

Nothing changed.

I made breakfast.

Went to work.

Walked.

Made a date

to speak with a friend.

Swore at the magpie

that dive bombed

my head. Ate popcorn

for lunch.

Made plans

for four months from now.

Took vitamins.

Drank green tea.

Watered the seeds

planted yesterday.

Talked to the seeds,

encouraged them to grow.

Read a book, stopped

at the penultimate chapter.

Some things are better

left unfinished.

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my mother began my mornings

by singing to me “it’s going to be

such a lovely day”—

over thirty years later

I still believe her

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One for My Death

 

 

 

and when I die

let me bleed words

and let all of them

be thank you

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No matter how difficult the world may be, how hostile, how ferocious, there is always the invitation for gratitude. Thank you to Gratefulness.org, a site devoted to finding and sharing what’s right in the world, who today posted this poem of mine about finding this invitation–Obeying the Impulse

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walking four blocks with my mother,

every step an arrival,

every step a reason to praise

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I know it’s your job, to monitor the heart rate as it rises, the blood pressure as it falls. I know the gray-haired woman in the bed is another set of numbers with a name you’ll forget. She’s my mother. She grows tomatoes on her porch and has a song to sing for every occasion. She loves side stroke and chocolate and Japanese art. She makes the best poached eggs, and she knows exactly how to scratch my head to lull me to sleep. I know it’s your job to find the clot. To bathe the wound. To ease the pain. Thank you. Thank you for your hands as they slip the needle into her arms, the arms that gather me when frightened or cold. Thank you for your feet as they run down the halls to examine her heart, her heart that holds so many. Thank you for your art as you puzzle the why of her body, her body that knows itself as a vessel for love and prayer. She is praying for you, even now, as I do, and though you are just doing your job, thank you.

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