Sunday, August 2

Thank You

Journal, created by Katy, August 2009

by W.S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on bridges to bow for the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions.
back from series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
looking up from tables we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you
in doorways and in back of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you
with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

Yesterday I had the honor to attend an art as prayer gathering. It is an organic group of people that has gathered together over the years. This time we were lead by Joe. We were task (should we chose to accept it) with creating gratitude journals. I decorated the cover of mine. (as seen above). There isn't anything in it yet. But I am about to make my first entry.

As we shared our creations someone commented about the poem above, that was read aloud at the gathering. "Why are these people saying 'thank you'? In such a world, what is there to say 'thank you for'?" I thought then, and couldn't articulated it, but I thought, because sometimes, "thank you" is all there is. Because sometimes things are so dark that if you don't say "thank you" you will loose your grip. Your safety line will break and no one will be able to pull you back to the boat. You say "thank you" as you fall through the watery depths, as your lungs begin to fill with water, because if you don't, you know that no amount of CPR will ever bring you back.

Yesterday I checked a book out of the library. I just finished reading it. Elizabeth McCracken’s heartbreaking but thoughtful memoir ‘An Exact Replica Of A Figment Of My Imagination’. By the end of that book, it seems impossible that anyone would ever question why sometimes saying "thank you" is the only way to take your next breath.

1 comment:

JWebb said...

thanks for the poem, Katy, and for your reflections on it. it's a keeper.