Cross My Heart and Hope to Write


Friday, November 30, 2012

Learning To Appreciate Things: I Am Thankful

How often do we stop to be thankful for the things we have? The simple things, like four walls, a full fridge, and a cat. But even simpler things, I think, deserve thankfulness: Like this computer or phone screen, or the shoes on your feet, or the paint on your nails, or even that bruise you got the other day. Why be thankful for a bruise? Why be thankful for a scar? Why be thankful for heartache?

Life has a silly way of being precious. There are things we take for granted that, even when we think of the things we take for granted, we don't think about. Like... solid ground... or birds singing... or being betrayed. A lie can even be cherished. What if you had ended up with that boy or girl who broke your heart? The childish love that never was - what if it had been? Maybe if you had you would have never learned to love yourself. The good and the bad, in time, are equalized.

I had the idea for this poem two years ago, but finally got around to writing it this year. It's meant to be a Thanksgiving poem, so I wrote it on Thanksgiving morning. Hopefully, in reading it, you can learn to appreciate things you hadn't before. Its purpose is to remind us that, even in the darkest moments, there is something worth being thankful for. In the end, everything has a silver-lining.  

I Am Thankful 

I am thankful
For eight fingers
And two thumbs
I am thankful
For two legs
And two arms
I am thankful
For vision
For sight  
For foresight
I am thankful
For taste
For smell
For touch
For speech
For an intact mind
I am thankful
For an empty stomach
Because it reminds me of what real hunger is
I am thankful
For a hungry mind
For curiosity
For inspiration
I am thankful
For ideas
For convictions
For concepts
For virtues
I am thankful
For fear
Because fear gives us something to conquer
And something to keep us in our place
I am thankful  
For tears
I am thankful
For mistakes
For being able to make mistakes
For being able to learn from my mistakes
For being sorry
For my mistakes
I am thankful
That I am not perfect
Because if I was
I wouldn’t need a reason to strive for better
I am thankful
For strife
I am thankful
For struggle
For hope
For faith
For being let down
I am thankful
For pain
For pain
For pain
For pain
Because when pain comes
It makes you want to forget what it means to feel
Because when pain comes
I want it to leave
And when it leaves 
I am thankful
Because pain reminds us of the beauty of contentment
It reminds us of how petty some things are
How real some things are
How fake some things are
I am thankful
For loss
Because it reminds us of what we still have
I am thankful
For memories
For being able to remember
I am thankful
For being able to forget
To forgive
I am thankful
For forgiveness
I am thankful
For love
The ability to love
For unrequited love
For lost love
I am thankful
We never were together
I am thankful
We couldn’t make it work
I am thankful
You didn’t love me back
I am thankful
For loneliness
For giving me a reason to listen to myself
For loneliness
For teaching me to love myself
I am thankful
For words
For language
For expression
I am thankful
For your attention
For your eyes
And your ears
And your tongues
I am thankful
For community
For friendship
For family
I am thankful
For my companions
I am thankful
For my mother
For my father
For my brother
For my grandparents
And my great-grandparents
And my great-great-grandparents
I am thankful
For my blood
I am thankful
For happiness
For humor
For laughter
Because the only thing stronger than your will to live
Is your laugh
And I am thankful    
For the stars
Because without them
The chemicals in my DNA
Would have never been
Because without them
I would have nothing to reach for
I am thankful  
For breath
For existence
For consciousness
For life
And all the baggage it comes with   
I am thankful
That I have been given the opportunity to exist
And to be thankful
I am thankful
I am thankful 

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