Intellectual, without detachment, you inspire the ebb and flow of my life. Just as an agile kingfisher dives through air into water you are wise enough to cross boundaries and yet remain your own person. Acting with integrity you stimulate the wise balance between action and inaction. Using discernment, inner wisdom and alert intuition your strong light shines brightly. Thank you for showing me an access to the Divine within the wonder of life. I learn from your manner to be skilled and shrewd without cunning or self importance. Knowing when to be silent and when to speak your diplomacy eases progress between protagonists. You teach me that nurturing love is a truth of the empowered, of the stable and of the astute, where there is no place for emotional imbalance.
Today I give thanks to the astute.
You have found the square peg that fits the square hole and no one can persuade you that a round one would also fit. Dogmatic maybe. Inflexible maybe. Confident always. Firm and steadfast, no waver, no continual questioning. You know the truth. You have peace in knowing that your opinion is the correct opinion. Not understanding that another's viewpoint is just as valid, your surety can be closed and exclusive. And yet we need believers. Society and community needs those who are fully committed, resolute and determined. Strangely for one so limited in outlook you are also a changer, for your belief is established and your mission is often to convince others of your absolute knowledge. You will present your side in a debate with unshakable certainty. You give us something to agree or disagree with. Your very presence asks me to question my perceptions and concepts. I believe I can, I believe I shall, I believe I am. There is no better positive statement that thrust me into action than I believe.
Today I give thanks to the believers.
You surprise me with an unexpected twist in a tale, tap dance on one leg, and play a silly tune on a kazoo. Clapping and cheering, I give you thanks for creasing my face with laughter. There are no barriers between us, few restrictions on what you can say. If there is an obstruction, you will break it down with your wit and a simple joke. I become instant friends as you seem to understand my life, my experiences, my relationships. You observe, listen and then parody. You are an actor in the comedy of existence and an entertainer who understands the ridiculous aspects of life. Thank you for teaching me to embrace humour, to chuckle at the mundane as well as the extraordinary, to see the farce in events as well as the profound, and that all will have a punchline that I can laugh at. I learn from you that timing is everything. I learn from you that there are many different personalities, the angry, the political, the confused. They all reveal characteristics of myself and in laughing at them I am laughing at myself. Thank you for the teaching that however confrontational, however disgusted I am by what is said, I can turn the situation around with good humour, and all will leave my company with a smile.
Today I give thanks to the comedians.
The unsung hero. Moving at a stately pace, you, the Dark, is wondrous and I can learn to love you. I can run away into your shadows. and although there are perils in your hidden places yet it is best to stay there oftentimes. It is dark in the box in which you live but I give thanks that you occupy the box and pull over the lid, for I too like to occupy the box of darkness. Here I can rest and dream. Enclosed and swaddled in darkness of the womb I am prepared for my journey into the light of the earth, and to you I will return when I transition again in death. In between those two events you offer me little deaths in the darkness and I thank you for those respite hours.
Today I give thanks to the dark.
What a delightful non-conformist you are. Deviating from the normal ordered orbit around the centre of the Universe, the track that most of us follow, you take another unique, creative path through space time. Unconventional, unexpected and downright odd, thank you for revealing the alternative route, abnormal and alternative possibilities. Bizarre, even outlandish, your behaviour sets you apart from the crowd. your lack of fear at appearing unorthodox, your lack of need of approval by fellow man, brings me courage. Today I shall wear yellow, green shoes and bright red scarf, and I shall be laughing at the humorous figure I am. For, like you, I shall be happy within myself. Your peculiarities do no harm, and your strangeness and genius entertains and informs me. Thank you for being you, thank you for sharing your true self with the world, thank you for your brilliant curiosity about life and for not being afraid of being a curiosity yourself.
Today I give thanks to the eccentric.
Thank you for decorating my life with pretty ornaments and trifles of unimportance. How dull the world would be if all were weighty, serious, lacking the absurd. I cannot deny or dismiss your relevance for within every extra novelty you add, within your frivolity and triviality there may be a seed of the profound. Carefree, apparently lacking solemn intent, I love your teaching that the time and effort apparently wasted on the unnecessary can bring much joy. The cake of life is perfectly edible with just a covering of plain white icing, but how much more fun it is decorated with sugar paste flowers, ribbons and candles. I thank you for adding the embellishment of the unnecessary. Light hearted banter on silly topics brightens my day. Good humoured, teasing, laughing at ourselves and others, our frivolous discussions on the size of my ears, your hairy hands, my games with the absurd, all stretch my imagination and my intellect. Our adult conversations reminding me I am a child within.
Today I give thanks to the frivolous.
Today I give thanks to the subtle, the quiet, those that do not disturb with loud noise, heavy hand or sudden gesture. Your kind tenderness enhances the peace in my life. Your calm presence transforms chaos to stillness. In the amiable and amicable company of your gentle being compassion and sympathy abound. Yet within the tenderness of your understanding lies the strength of gentleness. You are not inactive and not lazy, for your support is founded in stability and the touch of good will. I wonder at your achievement of quiet in a hostile place, at your ability to change anger to reason by mild and benign words. When others are worried or fearful you act firmly, slowly and easily.
Today I give thanks to the gentle.
Hasten and hurry am not words in your lexicon. Defined by what you do not rather than what you do, I thank you for exploiting the delaying activities of hesitancy. You contemplate, reflect, review, then weighing the possibilities you refrain, think again, and ponder, before acting. Hesitant you are confident. Like the cat stalking prey, your foot proceeds in slow deliberation, each position considered. Once decided your path is clear of obstacles that others never bring to vision, but which may trip them up as they rush forward. You stop, look and listen to the turmoil of the crashing wave at the water's edge of life. Dipping a toe into the ocean you standstill. The hidden crab will not grasp you with its pincers, the jellyfish will not sting you with its tentacle. Patient within that stillness, within the waiting, certain within the doubt and reluctance, I thank you for your wisdom in showing me there is a time and place in which to act, and a time and place in which to pause. As a sailor will defer launch until the storm passes, bless you for teaching me the art of waiting.
Today I give thanks to the hesitant.
What use is the pot with a crack? It will leak. What value is there in the lamp with a broken light bulb? Or the sheep pen with missing stones and broken down walls. If I assess my worth by function then, on the face of it, the imperfect has no place in my life. Sometimes I can mend and make do. The crack in the pot can be filled with sealant and the sheep pen walls rebuilt. Or I can replace the light bulb. These examples suggest that somewhere there is a perfect version of the imperfect. Is there such a world? Is there a condition that does not carry some blemish. Is there a place of divine beings where everything is perfect, and if there is, could I live there?
Today I give thanks to the imperfect.
Sometimes misunderstood, you know your actions are right. You know your opinion is the correct one. You have a great sense of your own worth and value in the world. Your words are valid and reasonable for you can support them with logic, truth and understanding. Thank you for your wonderful defence of the rational and of yourself. I look to my own words and actions and ask myself, am I balanced, am I wise, can I stand up and justify myself.
Today I give thanks to the justifiers.
Chattering on the bus journey, fiddling with my ticket, without thinking, I had folded it into an origami boat. When the ticket collector came to my seat I handed him the scrunched paper. He kindly pretended not to notice, looked at the distracted teenager in front of him, punched the necessary hole and handed the ticket / boat back. His forbearance saved my embarrassment, and I noted to be tolerant of the next silly person I met. That good natured action, and benevolent man, confirmed that most people are compassionate and sympathetic.
Today I give thanks to the kindly.
In the competition of the Olympics I applaud the gold, silver and bronze medalists. They are the legendary heroes, whose names enter the record books. The elite. Yet, what happens to those who are not worthy to stand on the winners podium? They will not be required for the media interview or the advertising commercial. Do they slink away into the night, stay firm in resolve to try again or know they gave it their all and enjoyed the experience. I watch the losers that applaud those who did win and I watch those losers that collapse in tears of regret, believing they failed. I thank all losers for showing me that I will not be first every time. Often there is someone more skilled, more well informed, more dexterous than I am. The wonderful knowledge gained about myself when I lose is to discover what my special skills are. We are all very good at something, and losing helps us discover what that is not.
Today I give thanks to the losers.
I hear you muttering, words unclear, quietly to yourself, and am unnerved. You are either disgruntled, grumpy, or have some greater knowledge you are unwilling to share. Which is it? Why are you reluctant to speak out? Are you in agreement or disagreement? All I hear is your mumble. Bringing in the first early morning coffee, a mumble emanates from underneath the duvet. Is this a 'thank you', or a 'you must be mad to be awake at this early hour?' The truth is you do not care if you are understood or not. You are quite happy for me not to know your opinion or response. You do not seek approval. You may be very diplomatic. Whichever, I am confused.
Today I give thanks to the mumblers.
Living close to me you see my comings and goings, and I see yours. We smile hello and go our separate ways. You carry your baggage and I carry mine. To be a neighbour involves being near someone. But not too near, not too dear. I see you across our divisions, We interact and yet we are individuals by name and nature. We are people scattered across the landscape, islands in a sea of silver beaches. We know each other's families, for we see them come and go, but we never know each other. We are entrenched in the land on which we live and we look and regard each others fascinating isolation. In our houses, in our streets, we have freedom but also boundaries, and always there are many pairs of eyes watching. We are part of a community, you and I, always close. If I am lonely I go outside the door and know that one neighbour will appear. Thank you for being here.
Today I give thanks to the neighbours.
Opening my diary there are scribbled disordered notes, scattered across the page. Seeing your text it is straight, neat, shipshape along the guidelines. How virtuous your attention to detail, how lacking in virtue my disordered chaos. What a blessing you are when there is a requirement for order, for arrangements to be made, schedules to be maintained, and plans to be structured. Your procedures are free from confusions and muddle. Noticing your methods I attend my topsy-turvyness. This is an element of your nature that I praise and that I wish to share. The scrambled areas of my life shall become well arranged, the ambiguous directions shall be clarified and the unregulated logically organised.
Today I give thanks to the organised.
Tired of your repetitive voice a convenient affliction of deafness seizes me. And yet you are constant and consistent. Your murmurings are still audible. You fail to elicit a response and you persist. Finally I can no longer ignore you. Reacting, I shout, “be quiet”. Yet you insist on being heard. You refuse to give up. My irritation rises and now a considered, measured, response to your words is needed. I listen. Sometimes this initiates a 'yes' and sometimes 'no'. Perhaps you will not accept my opinion and I become equal to your persistence in my response. Thank you for revealing to me the value of your determination. Thank you for your courage. Like a salmon leaping upstream against the river's flow, like the first steps and tumbles of a baby learning to walk, like the growing grass, my heart, the pain in the muscle, the thought tugging at my brain, my friends, all those persistent voices in my life are a blessing. And I bless you.
Today I give thanks to the persistent.
Not totally silent, sound not totally absent, your hushed voice whispers in my ear. It all seems so simple, no complications, no loud exaltations, and yet ever present, ever active, you gently, placidly, in a restrained manner, achieve your goal. You have my full attention, for I need to listen closely to hear your words, to hear your wisdom. You are the quiet voice of reason, that, free from uproar, speaks the truth. In the middle of agitation you remain calm. Thank you for showing me that there is no need for exuberance or loud endeavour. I can achieve much in stillness. My breath is quiet.
Today I give thanks to the quiet.
I saw you gently touch another, share a glance, a smile crossed both your lips, and the birds stopped singing, so enchanted they were by your love. Echoing across the hillside, bells rang out from the church. It was Sunday, they were calling the congregation to prayer, to their sacred union with God. And here, in this room, another union, fleeting in gesture, but deep in significance, revealed itself. Affection as deep as the deepest ocean, as soft as the softest down, as sublime as the beauty of sunrise fills the atmosphere when tenderness is present. To observe this fondness between two people is a gift. To bathe in the sea of love that surrounds them is a joy. Thank you for revealing your sensitivity, expressing feelings, in that unexpected touch. May that moment expand beyond this room, into the street, the city, the land, the earth, the universe. May we all see, sense, treasure, the warmth of the non physical kiss of romance and carry it with us always.
Today I give thanks to the romantic.
I recognise and give thanks to the professional solitary, the ascetic hermit, at the top of a fierce mountain, knowing physical solitude in a lightless cavern or praying in a simple room with four white walls and mattress. I bestow blessings on your conscious decision to be reclusive. You inform me of the possibilities and pleasures of life sitting alone. In your stillness you reveal the valuable experience of detachment. There is much to discover in the rich inner depths of my souls whilst isolated. The world is enhanced by your existence, observation, contemplation and meditation. I also give thanks and bless the unremarkable solitary, totally involved in existence with all beings, walking with a bustling crowd, sitting, breathing, living. We have pleasure in each others company and yet are unaccompanied. Exchanging glances we do not hinder each other. We allow each other silence in the midst of disturbance. In knowing each other, we know ourselves. I am neither cloistered nor selective. Thanks and blessings for travelling your unique path and accepting my presence as I accomplish mine. We are each a lone star within a field of stars.
Today I give thanks to the solitary.
Whether tumbling through a gentle breeze or hostile hurricane in my life, calm, steadfast, you are forever present. A supportive cushion to my insecurity. your companionship and sincerity anchors me when the current is strong and the tide high. What you say is what you do, your words and actions are one, and I thank you for that. With you I share my darkest secrets, with you the door is always answered, with you I am safe. Blessings and thanks for your honesty. Blessings and thanks for beholding the truth. Blessings and thanks for standing beside me. May we keep confidence in each other, for as you never betray me so I shall never betray you.
Today I give thanks to the trustworthy.
Known yet unknown, in excited anticipation, I bless you for your presence. Hidden in the folds of eternity you enliven my spirit with wonder and hope. An image yet to be envisaged, a dream yet to be fulfilled, a precious gift yet to be revealed, I share blessings and thanks, for your existence brightens my darkness, as a star shines in the womb of the night sky. In collaboration I am joyful in preparations to welcome you to life, for you are the expected one. You are our combined potential.
The rhythm of life sings out your truth, that you are part of me and I part of you. We are all one. In our twinned minds we plan. In my emotions I touch my loving counterpart. In our coupled souls we dwell and in our bodies awareness of renewal emerges. I shelter you in my heart until the moment of your birth, when I shall cradle you in my arms.
Today I give thanks to the unborn.
What struggle, what game, what battle has taken place for you to be standing at the top of the line, in front of everyone else? Your adversary lies at your feet, defeated and conquered. You are Saint George slaying the dragon, the captain of the winning team. Convinced you could achieve the ultimate prize now you know you were right. Stop for a minute. Enjoy the bright light of achievement and accolade, it is yours to claim. At this moment you are the best. You have overcome all the obstacles, physical, metaphorical, emotional and mental. It would be a dull world if there were not people of exceptional talent. You are one such person, for you excel. Tomorrow I shall be standing where you stand, for you have shown me that anything is possible. I shall train and practice, overcome my perceived difficulties and hindrances. I too, shall be a success, and be proud of that attainment.
Today I give thanks to the victorious.
Oh woe is me! Lamentations! You weep and wail and gnash your teeth, so disconsolate with your situation. You are so sad, so distressed. You tell the whole world of your grief and misfortune. You are the centre of attention, poor you, in your sorrow and difficulties. Yet I am not upset by your sadness but released and uplifted. In the tempest of change, when overwhelmed with emotion, you see me through the difficult times by being my voice. Your wailing and moaning diverts attention from me. You express all my public sadnesses for me and I can relax into the truth of how I really feel. I am safe in my private opinions.
Today I give thanks to the wailers.
We travel from place to place on the earth, and in that journeying become foreigners in an unknown land. I am a stranger when I move from my home into a new place, when I come closer to you, when I am no longer a tourist but a neighbour. And you, dear phobic, you have a particular reaction to my assumed difference. You reject my presence, am fearful of my unfamiliarity. Suspicious and intolerant you look at me, but rarely in the eye. You do not wish to see into my soul. You just desire my removal, as if I were a speck of dust. I smile, you see my happiness and are uncomfortable. I am happy in my knowledge of who I am. Your insecurity rejects my offers of friendship. This is your loss. Why are you here? you ask me. Others say, I am pleased you are here. In your close hearted attitudes you feel safe. I accept that there are places where I am not welcome. And so I learn discernment.
Today I give thanks to the xenophobes.
the Yes Sayers
It is easy to say 'yes'. The positive yes brings dreams and hopes for the future. 'No' brings an ending, empties the future of possibilities. One of the skills of life is to know when 'yes' is not appropriate, will lead to more complications, is a crowd pleaser rather than a practical solution. Completion is often the way forward and 'Yes' only prolongs the agony that a truthful 'No' would end. Saying 'Yes' with discernment is wisdom.
Today I give thanks to the 'Yes'.
A strange word as crazy as those it describes. The clown, the jester, the trickster are all famed for their silliness, for their comedy. The zany will reveal the humour, the eccentric, the truth that life is not serious. In the ludicrous and the funny the zany reveal my stupidity and pretentiousness. I learn to laugh at myself.
Today I give thanks to the zany.
Page last updated: 15th Dec 2016