"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

21 November 2006

Thanksgiving Break

Classes done, emails taken care of, only one set of essays to take home and grade over the break. Not bad. The YM is gone to visit his sister and sister-in-law, so we'll get a little taste of the empty nest for a few days. Neighbors invited us for Thanksgiving dinner. I am hoping I will perhaps actually be rested for the final two weeks of classes and final exams.

I am at that point that arrives all too often of having too much to do and too many ideas for other things I'd like to do and too little time and energy for, it seems, any of it. I have a hard time trusting in any case, but I think this may be the worst kind of time in some ways. There's no definite thing I want that I don't have, no definite source of frustration, just a kind of low grade "I wish . . . something; I just don't know what."

So it's time to practice gratitude, as the holiday reminds me, and say what I know is true: I am loved, my life has purpose, and if all I can do is just the next thing, then that's fine.

In "Messenger," Mary Oliver starts the poem with the simple and profound line, "My work is loving the world." The second stanza reads "Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? / Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me / keep my mind on what matters, / which is my work."

And part of that work is "gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart / and these body-clothes, / a mouth with which to give shouts of joy / to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, / telling them all, over and over, how it is / that we live forever."

Yes. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, indeed.

1 comment:

amelia ruth said...

enjoy these few swift-spent days of break. On Wednesday, I looked forward to having four full days of Eddie at home; and now it is Saturday and a busy one at that! Time goes so quickly; I put up all my Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving just so I'd have a chance to enjoy them before December races past and its time to take them down again!

I'm going to send you a completely revamped version of "Shadows;" I pretty much just rewrote it and Eddie and I both agree that it flows much better! Plus it's shorted--I omitted many needless words!