Grateful Solace

All week the idea of this day has rolled through my mind. Thanksgiving, and what it is that gives us such value toward one day out of the calendar. Despite its origins which do give me pause and help me realize we might be thought somewhat arrogant to an indigenous nation we clearly took advantage for our own benefit. The day nonetheless has become a gathering of family, a day over the years that has the promise of memory and laughs and celebration of an identity we have become together.

I can always remind myself of our family meeting one another in my grandmother’s home in Duluth. She and her husband, Granny and Gramps cherished their family in every extent of the word. I know the dining room table that would fit us all with the children in the next room, sitting on as polished oak they could match with the adults sacred space. To make it one day to the main room, the main serving table of Granny’s wonderful meal was a rite of passage for all including myself.

We were raised in the fashion of an Irish tradition, and anyone who walked into the home on 5th avenue, became another Irish descendant the moment they crossed the threshold. My father alone – Papa – of a Norwegian descent was clearly an Irishman that day, embraced by Nana’s parents like a son – a paramount meaning of love that I have wished I might emulate my entire life. I was lucky, we were all lucky to know unconditional love in every aspect of the word.

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving and we must first acknowledge the state of mind a pandemic has placed upon our ability to celebrate together. No matter the circumstance for some of ‘alone’ and all of its impact, we can still with integrity celebrate the meaning of love. Wherever we stand, however we live our lives in distant or near proximity, only one reality matters – kindness.

We are compassionate souls no matter how much we might choose to fight that attribute in any given paradigm of our own position in life. We have experienced those we do cherish who have passed on to their next journey (God bless) and we will hold a chair for them today because memory alone will always keep them close to our heart. We will recognize those of lesser means who today might have a tear or flood of emotion knowing their isolation and hunger will be overlooked by the many that come before and did once share lives together. I don’t speak of myself in that realm, I am a fortunate man.

Today let’s lift our glass to the beauty of life. Let’s look in one another’s eyes and remember that together we have created these moments for many years well beyond our own mortality. Let us be kind and grateful for all of the people that came before and after who created whom we are today.

Let us love with passionate embrace.


© Thom Amundsen  11/2020

Warm Face

The mask we wear,

shadows our lives,

might be removed when close to home

if we can see the eyes of those we love.

Today in our world we gather in peace

in hope tribulations, anxieties, unsettled

reminders of our humanity,

might be left outside in the cold unforgiving air,

while inside our lives become one in memory and story.

We will tell stories,

bring those people back to life,

for they have never left our side, only in that physical sense,

that in this moment, we continue to use to walk around,

to engage,

to make our presence known.

~

We are in love’s grace with our predecessors,

the mom and dad, favorite aunts and funny uncles,

cousin

the sweet memory of childhood dreams never broken

for compassionate arms always held our greatest fears.

~

We are in love today with our futures,

the gleam in eyes, the silly smiles, the elementary accomplishments

moving swift as young adults

help us realize the circle does continue to turn

wisely, all aimed toward that setting sun.

~

Today we feast on the beauty of family, and in the quiet of our

settling lives, we are reminded of certain fortune and peace,

a gathering of energy we hope might spill out into a rather

unassuming confused world beyond our control.

When reliance we do on whatever gratitude means in our minds

good heart and soul will reach for the heavens;

be thankful we are alive to celebrate spiritual agonies and beauty,

be the Grace we learned and pass on and into our hope.

be elegant and just love.

~

Warm faces, lulling laughs, quiet tears,

we all know truth today.

~

© Thom Amundsen 2015

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.