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Trying to give thanks/Dia de gracias 2008

I am trying. I am grateful, I really am. That I'm healthy even though my knees hurt and I miss running. I am trying to give thanks that I have such a bounty of quiet to write and think today, but hope my single friends can rejoice in the aloneness, the solitude that comes from divorces and family members dying and children growing up.

I love this weather, it was in the high sixties today, but I'm worried that it hasn't gotten cold at all and it's the end of November. I wonder if my friends recognize what living the suburbs means for the environment -- the cutting of trees and construction of highways and the gasoline it will take for them to get into the city. I am thankful for my 900 sq ft apartment, the windows and space I have, why is it we always want more, even me? Now I want to live in the country, now I want a bigger house, now I want an acre or two, now I want a vista of greenscape, and what will my dream cost to the environment or what if I just gave that money to the people who are suffering?

There are so many people suffering today. From Mumbai to Mexico, I remember the time I almost adopted that ten-year old in the street who was sleeping in an alcove, and it was raining. I'm worried about the chilren in Iraq who are now orphans, and especially the little girls. What will happen to them? Do I have something to give them, to help them, so they can give thanks too?

I want to give thanks, but I don't think it's enough. I want to understand all that I have so that I can give thanks and mean it, to do that I must see what the rest of the world doesn't have.

I suspect I'm not grateful for what I should be. And what is that? Maybe I have so much, where to begin? What about this gift of writing it down? What if I didn't have this computer or this weather or even the sweet potato fluff I tasted today, what if all I had was a piece of paper and a pen? Would I be grateful then? Maybe I'm grateful for all I can see, but not for what truly matters, myself. Myself. And what will I do with me? Not waste me like I waste food? And I don't mean my in the narcissistic way, but the potential to be more way. Like generous. Generous in giving all that I know to be true.
And what is that?

To do something, say something, write something that matters. That's a sacrifice, that hurts, that risks most of all. What will I risk?

What will I risk today?

That we are complicit in the beauty of the world as we are complicit in its cruelty. That we are giving thanks because others can't, and we must help them be able to give thanks, even if it means we sacrifice something.

What will I sacrifice?

What will you sacrifice?

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