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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks




"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~Melody Beattie

While it seems pretty obvious that gratitude is a positive emotion, psychologists for decades rarely delved into the science of giving thanks. But in the last several years they have, learning in many experiments that it is one of humanity's most powerful emotions. It makes you happier and can change your attitude about life, like an emotional reset button.

Especially in hard times, like these. It is not the happy who are thankful, it is the thankful who are happy.

More than ever, we humans need a way to sort of hijack our emotional system and get someplace positive for a change. We give ourselves an endorphin rush, just by being truly thankful for something.

And I do have a lot to be thankful for. A wife who loves me, two daughters of whom I am fiercely proud, a new job in these tough times, a roof over my head, and so on.

But I am also thankful for some odd things, taking a different tack on what I am thankful for this year:


GIVING THANKS

I am thankful that I ache when I get out of bed
because I then know that I am not yet dead.
Bum knees, bad back, arthritis in my hands,
so the pain that others feel I completely understand.

I am glad that I need to lose some of my weight
Because millions starve, but at least I ate.
And thanks for the ability to give something back
so I know that others will be able to snack.

I am pleased that I still carry so much debt
because it means that I still have reason to sweat.
And even though my job is really kind of lousy
at the end of the day I have toiled until I’m drowsy.

I am thankful for the fact that my ex is so bitter,
a solid-state, free-style hatred transmitter,
with love for nobody and nothing but money,
she reminds me of why I love my new wife, a honey.

Thank you Lord, for giving me a temper so short,
so my emotions never hide, as I tend to report.
Everyone always knows exactly where I stand
especially when things do not go as I planned.

I am thankful for each and every one of my worries
from deadlines to traffic or impending snow flurries,
because they remind me that what I do does matter,
for life means little when handed to you on a platter.

But mostly dear Lord, I am thankful for pain
because for every loss there is always a gain.
That which does not kill, makes me a better man
and I will fight to the end, at least that’s the plan.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Housefly




HOUSEFLY



Ogden Nash spoke of God creating the house fly
and then casually forgetting to tell us all why.
We know he did not set out to be the bad guy,
but he does look villainous with that multifaceted eye.

Emily Dickinson wrote she heard a fly when she died,
and the rest us are forced to try to learn to abide
the specks he leaves behind on walls as he strides,
or his seeming magical ability to get inside.

Shapiro called him “a hideous little bat, the size of snot,”
and listed the many various bad habits he’s got,
his tendency to hang out where things decay and rot,
or how he bothers the horses when the weather gets hot.

Even the Bard mentioned flies when he sat down to write
of Romeo’s mishandled courtship and dear Juliet’s plight,
or when Lear bemoaned a castle’s lonely coldness at night
when he cried, “the small gilded fly does lecher in my sight.”

Like the other insects, the ant, beetle, roach or bee
he is a being divided, into parts numbering three.
He does his best hearing just behind his second knee.
And his skeleton is on the outside for the entire world to see.

There is only one thing worse than the houseflies you get
when you leave out last night’s food, or garbage soft and wet,
one thing I know, and you can guess what it is I bet,
how about a housefly that can access the internet.

@houseflyonthewall is his handle, though he types it with his feet,
and he shares his ruminations about whatever houseflies tweet.
They say you can attract him by laying out something sweet,
and if you need a hum in the key of F, then he just can’t be beat.

He got more offspring than followers, his kin numbers in six digits
although most of them have the brains of flies, and thus they are idiots.
He has his lofty aspirations and hopes for the prestigious,
but he can’t help it if he constantly fusses, worries and fidgets.