This week: Appreciation Edited by: Elfyn
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For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.~~Elie Wiesel
Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.~~William Faulkner
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.~~Tecumseh
Be grateful in your own hearts. That suffices. Thanksgiving has wings, and flies to its right destination.~~Victor Hugo
When eating fruit, remember the one who planted the tree.~~Vietnamese Proverb
We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.~~Neal A. Maxwell
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.~~Thornton Wilder
Enough is a feast.~~Buddhist Proverb
In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.~~Albert Schweitzer
A long list of quotes this week. Why? Because they all seem so appropriate.
Maybe it is just that this has been a long, sometimes sad year. Maybe it is because I am truly missing those no longer here. Some have passed on beyond our reach. Others sort of vanished into the ether for whatever reason. Still I miss them all and I find myself trying to focus on all the memories we shared, the moments of bliss, the high of great joys we experienced together.
Maybe it is because the years seem to pass by so quickly these days. I swear it was only yesterday that I moved back to Michigan, but no. It was over seventeen years ago. I'm a great-grandmother four times over! How could this possibly be? AH, but it is. The babies of our babies are having babies!
Maybe it is because my husband's doing wonderfully well after one of those strokes when the doctor comes out and says, in that deep, stentorian voice, that it is "Time to gather the family."
Maybe I'm just getting (gasp!) old.
But it seems that while I have always appreciated the life I've lived, these days--I just seem to have slowed down and appreciate things more. Deeper, maybe.
My husband is amazing. I am so lucky to have him. We might squabble now and again, but we love each other, have each other's backs, and appreciate each other. All the time. every day. Day in and day out. I have some amazing friends. 'Go to the wall' type friends. Just on WDC--new and old are Mara ♣ McBain , Ren the Klutz! , Rhymer Reisen . DRSmith . ~WhoMe???~ , Monty and DestinyAwaitsDarling . There are more. (You know who you are!) Off WDC I have several others who are equally special. My life would be much poorer without these folks in it. They challenge me, are there for me and are just really, really special. They are simply good people clear through.
Our kids, grands and greats. They keep us young, drive us crazy and make us laugh. Laughter is such an important facet of life. Even the worst of days is brighter when smiles and laughter can chase away some of the darkness. Laughter, is one of what my hubby and I call 'candle-moments.'
WDC is a huge thing that I'm, personally, extremely grateful exists. It (100%) saved my life in 2005 and I will never, ever forget that!
We have enough to eat, a roof, and warmth. On Thursday we will have a meal with friends, see family, and celebrate love. Friday will be Christmas tree shopping and setting up/decorating two trees. A month of craziness, people, joy, and love above and beyond our normal will ensue and I shall relish every single moment. I will miss the ones not here any longer, but I will celebrate them none-the-less. Because they all are a part of me, of who I am, of who we as a family are.
So, what has this got to do with a poetry newsletter? Emotion. Emotion drives poetry. One thing I've learned in 68 years is that, regardless of what happens in our lives, there is always --and I do mean Always(!) -- there is something positive to be gleaned from it. Maybe if only an enhanced appreciation for something or one. Maybe it is an appreciation for what we learned about others or ourselves. Maybe it is an understanding that we are stronger or more resilient than we ever thought possible. Sometimes it takes a long, long time for those glimmers to register, but, I have found, they always present themselves eventually. In kind of a 'a-ha' epiphany when I realize that that bad, terrible, awful, atrocious thing led to something else entirely, that it made me better, that it led to a new understanding. Never negates the former, but does lead to something more, deeper, enlightening. They then go forward with a change in emotion, of emotion. My grandmother always said that 'tough times don't last; tough people do.'
Gratitude is an ongoing entity. Changing, evolving, revolving. It isn't, or shouldn't be static because our lives are always moving forward in one direction or another. Our poetry can reflect this. The same incident or emotional space of time is viewed differently as times goes by. Hard edges of grief soften and blur. Knife-sharp pain scars over. No, never gone -- entirely, but not quite as brutal. We get to points where we can see beyond pain or blame or fault or whatever else there is to it as we heal. This too is something I am grateful for because it allows me to go on, move on and push past.
Two poems written five or ten years apart reflect on the changes we have undergone, on the ways we have metamorphosized or adapted. Grown. Reevaluating an understanding, and reexamining past positives and negatives can lead to a new appreciation of ourselves and that, too, is something one can be grateful for and never take for granted--because we are too important to ourselves and others to do that. It can also make for some darned good poetry!
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Elle (she/her) writes: I absolutely agree on incorporating poems into memoirs and autobiographies. I am doing that with mine, albeit mine is told primarily in chronological prose. As well as all the reasons you mentioned in your newsletter, I think including some poems helps to break up the prose and gives variety to the reader.
Monty says: Thank you for the highlighted poem. I agree so much with: I like the idea of a book that can be picked up, opened to a random spot and a tale told.
Lilli, Coffee Elf ☕️ 🧿 says: Wow! You've given me some inspiration for a new project with this newsletter! Trying to write a full-blown memoir can be daunting, but writing poetry that is reflective of the various stages of one's life is something worth examining! Thank you!
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