Who knows the sorrows of the heart?
God, of course, and the private self.
But who else? Anyone or anything else?
Not the trees, in their windy independence.
Nor the roving clouds, nor, even, the dearest of friends.
Yet maybe the thrush, who sings,
By himself, at the edge of the green woods,
To each of us
Out of his mortal body, his own feathered limits,
Of every estrangement, exile, rejection - their
And then, so sweetly, of ever goodness also to be remembered.
Over this Thanksgiving weekend we think of gratitude. In sermon, blog, and blessing I speak with others of how developing a practice of gratitude may breed social resilience and satisfaction in life and work, if not happiness. How I long to practice what I preach. I have found gratitude challenging in the face of my mother’s dementia and my loss of her. Yet here on the long drive home on Interstate 95 surrounded by grey clouds and even greyer strip malls I am hearing not just the song of estrangement coming from the heart, but also the goodness that underwrites the score for all music.
For a gratitude practice then, today, may we list the goodness resounding within all death deals. For whether we hear death and sorrow, or joy and happiness, the music is ever sweet.
My mother, in her painful, housebound, lonely days I hear the song of how she could not be where she is today without her drive for fun, ease, and autonomy. She sings of her desire for love ever still. So how can I keep from singing?
Where do you hear the harmony of goodness and disconnection or despair?