“It is not joy that makes us grateful;
it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
~ David Steindl-Rast ~
I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude recently. The world is worrisome place at the moment and I long for saner heads to prevail. And yet, there is much to be grateful for. For instance, this welcoming community. My writing has improved a thousand-fold because of all of you. I’m especially thankful for my extraordinary critique group partners Heidi Mordhorst, Linda Mitchell, Margaret Simon, and Molly Hogan. They nudge and nourish my work with smart, insightful suggestions. We have all grown because of, in the words of Maria Papova, “this enormously vitalizing virtuous cycle of mutual respect and admiration that is available to all who choose to welcome and celebrate one another’s kinship of spirit.”
It is with this spirit of kinship in mind that I share “Let’s Remake the World With Words” by Gregory Orr.
Let’s remake the world with words.
Not frivolously, nor
To hide from what we fear,
But with a purpose.
As Wordsworth said, remove
“The dust of custom” so things
Shine again, each object arrayed
In its robe of original light.
Read the rest of the poem here.
As I was reading about gratitude this week, I found the wisdom of David Steindl-Rast particularly helpful. Brother David acknowledges that “we cannot be grateful for violence, for war, for oppression, for exploitation.” Rather, “we can … open our hearts, our hearts for the opportunities, for the opportunities also to help others, to make others happy, because nothing makes us more happy than when all of us are happy.”
In case you need one more dose of thankfulness, don’t miss Miranda Paul’s new anthology, Thanku: Poems of Gratitude (Millbrook, 2019), which includes poems by many Poetry Friday regulars. Leave your link or comment below before Wednesday, October 16th to be entered in a drawing for a copy of this lovely book.
Now on to the Roundup!