in gold and
red glory the
mountain ash greeted you this
morning as you tripped down the
stairs breathless with
designs of the
day as if all that
mattered were your
errant heart with its
arrhythmic timing and the
frantic pace of
living through ticking
ticking time except
that the mountain ash stopped you
and your eyes filled with
wonder at its
fractal gilt leaves and
bobbing red berries
© 2015 Gail Sidonie Sobat
Another beautiful thanksgiving poem by Joy Harjo, “Perhaps the World Ends Here.”
This week’s great un-/ undersung CanLit title worth checking out:
I Should be in Chains – Kathy Fisher – Fisher experiments with sound – weaving audio, be it live music or ghost voices, in and around her poetry. She is a wordsmith, research lawyer, documentarian, biographer, oral historian and explorer, and always creates with attention to the ear and eye.
Writer’s Quote: “Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” – Alice Walker, American author (b. 1944)
Writing Tips: On writing a gratitude journal or keeping a gratitude list (excellent fodder for other writing):
1. Hand-write your gratitude list. The kinesthetic experience of actually writing is valuable for several reasons: First, the physical act helps imprint the feeling of gratitude at the cellular level. Also, since it is a slower process than typing, writing by hand provides more time for contemplation, which makes for a more thoughtful list.
2. Set a realistic goal. Avoid immediate collapse by starting off with a reasonable number of items. If you set out to enumerate some insane number like 50, you’ll end up including stuff that not even the most zealous gratitude junkie would list. Better to limit yourself to one good reason than to dredge up sludge from a too-deep well.
3. Fake it, if necessary. Don’t worry about actually feeling grateful for anything, especially if during your formative years you confused gloom with sophistication. Until you are consistently inclined to see the glass as half full, act ‘as if.’ In other words, start by pretending that you are an authentically grateful person and write down what this alter ego is thankful for. If even this feels like too much of a stretch, maybe you’re getting stuck on semantics. Instead of calling yours a gratitude list, title it “Hey, it could be worse” and take it from there.
Writing Prompt: Think about a troublesome person in your life and craft a piece about why you are grateful for that individual.