When ‘Giving Thanks’ Struggles

I am experiencing an internalized state of mind this Thanksgiving. I’ve been looking at this page for an hour or so trying to figure out how to begin my annual Thanksgiving message for my blog. Occasionally the message rings strong and I publish it further, but today, in my head, deep in my head, I’m wondering what message I could possibly provide that suggests giving thanks.

Right now I am not in a thankful state of mind and it truly hurts my heart. I’m wondering why, though deep down I think the answer is quite apparent. The answer is in my head and it seems that’s where I want it to stay. Given that mindset, how can any message come out of this rant that offers any redeeming value toward the nature of giving thanks in my life? I think the solution can only be finding a way to remove myself from the equation and put that focus on the world around me.

In order to do that I need to step out of my head. I look outside my window to see a beautiful day. I can see winter coming, the changing of seasons, the new experiences that lay ahead, and I can blend all those moments into one and be thankful I am able to react to the wonder of our lives with a smile. That alone is possible. Alone it is that simple. Moving beyond the selfish and realizing the world around us is more important than ourselves is the meaning of Thanksgiving.

Sometimes, that belief is difficult to carry out. We can always find reasons to complain, to wonder, to speculate to such a degree that we no longer see the good in the world around us. But again, that is such a waste of valuable energy. Finding the ability to turn that around and be thankful without need for personal validation is the key. So here goes.

I am thankful today I can be with my family and we can celebrate another day of sharing time and conversation and fill our belly with delicious traditional foods. I am thankful I live in a world where I can find immediate freedom walking out my front door without worry of impingement upon my peace of mind. I am thankful to have shelter, to know compassion, to recognize love, to be alive. I am thankful that rather than focus upon the immediacy of my life, I can view a world outside that does allow everyone to be included, that love is a common denominator in a society that sometimes forgets the meaning of caring for one another. I am thankful that I have the ability to try.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in a position to celebrate this holiday. Peace.

 

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In My Country

We have this tradition

in place

whereby our satisfaction

is the chase;

is built around certain

achievement –

a lifestyle some acclaim

entitlement.

~

When I was a young man

we gathered lives,

in a single room was the plan

celebrating  our tribes.

Well I was told the story any-

way to appease

my gentle mind beyond the many

matters of tease

meant only to satisfy our need

to celebrate each

other in manner one might heed

if asked to somehow teach.

~

Tonight I struggle for forgiveness

not knowing for what

yet full aware own goodness

keeps insanity driven shut

out from our interior, where the rain

of circumstantial

unraveling of the mind is insane.

i look to your world

if when you do cry, do you remain

are you often twirled

on a merry-go-round like a child shy.

~

We will give thanks to our world in tomorrow’s dance

always clueless to that circumstantial evidence.

 

Remind Me Again

All week we let words travel through our mind

when memory’s cadence might help remind

us to recognize together again

the bounty of peace, just how life began.

Help us to recall we were not the first

‘people’ to inherit the world we thirst

upon with every ounce of jealous need.

Allow the truth to safely now impede

our celebrations, feasts of gluttony

while only steps away cry agony.

Lest we forget the ‘others’ that suffer.

In today’s heartfelt warm embrace together

give pause to help restore spirits doubtful,

menus of love – delicious, delightful.

The Darker Reality

 

In America,

We celebrate with a feast

All of our lives

Are wrapped together

In a few hours of dinner celebration

~

In America,

Someone is crying

Alone

Away from the eyes they hide their pain

Hungry

~

In America,

We drive fine vehicles

Wear designer gowns

Winding black ties on our collars

While sipping fine wines

~

In America,

The winds are biting

As a cardboard shelter

Provides little security

The hours creep slowly again

~

In America,

We will shop in droves

Just after midnight

And while a needy soul

Lays nearby, we’ll boast about

Our tent outside of Best Buy

~

In America,

Our lives are no different

In America we love freedom

On Thanksgiving night

In America … pray for us all

This Gathering

I am grateful

To recall the memories

Children running through rooms

A gathering of family

Hopping over the ankles

Brushing shoulders

Quick smiles as we flit by each

Relative that stood in our way

~

I grew up believing the aroma

Baking, basting, tasting

Always a natural consequence

Of gathering loved ones

While the care in the kitchen

Symbolic of love and festivity

Would offer purpose to the

Acceptable gluttony of spirits

~

If I were to name you

I’d feel compelled to recall

Everyone that touched me

When gathering I had no clue

How your love would remain

Close to my heart today

On this morning when I ready

My family to celebrate together

~

I believe then I am wondering

How to include everyone

My memories are vivid

Always a gathering with effort

To recognize each individual

Belonging together in heart and soul

Without exclusion on this day

An occasional stranger appeared … love

~

When I celebrate memory

I feel certain emptiness stir

Becomes an anxiety I fear

A gathering of lonely and heartsick

Souls wishing for a warm fire

A soft blanket to shelter exposure

I will pray for them in my own way

That peace in God’s eyes may occur

~

Glance outside and the sunlight’s beauty

Lights a blessed gathering of souls todayfamily-gathering