There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as between an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and it was a good lamp, but now it sheds light, too, and that is its real function. And love makes one more calm about many things, and so one is more fit for one's work. -Van GoghI think the worst condition of man is loneliness.
It is a terrible thing to be lonely, or worse, truly alone. No one goes crazy in general population. It's solitary that eats at your mind. Even the craziest of men, immured in stone, unable to get even a glimpse of the bright, blue tent of the sky, scratch at the walls to leave a message; to tell another that they were there.
I am not alone in this world, which is good, because I have a melancholy nature. I am married, and I have children to throw rolls over the table at one another. They are my name, scratched on the unyielding wall of the world, telling anyone that will bother to notice that I was here. My family makes me calm about many things.
It's Thanksgiving. I am separated by distance and other things from everyone except my wife and children. I do not know if I've ever understood the true nature of the holiday until recently, because to have plenty and to be able to gather together was fairly easy. People don't often appreciate things that come readily to hand. I'm a person.
We will have enough to eat, and sit in a warm room, laugh and wonder at the dogeared cards we have been dealt, and I'll try mightily to shed the light that is my true function, to make me more fit for my work. We will all pray over our plate like children. Thanksgiving is the only kind of prayer that you can be sure will work, because it faces backwards.
I tap on the wall of the Intertunnel, too. I often feel disconnected from my fellow passengers on this spinning rock, moreso each day. I wonder if some other inmate, some fellow traveler, might hear my tapping, and be braced by the thought of a fellow internee. I often hear tapping in return, and it refreshes me to carry on.
And so I offer this little word of thanks, and release it into the ether. I'm glad I'm not alone, and if you're reading this, you're not alone, either, and I'm glad to get a chance to leave a little something in the take a soul, leave a soul dish at the checkout counter of life.
[ Extra special Thanksgiving thanks goes out to Karen, Richard, Paul, Robert, Malcolm, David, Tracy Lynn, Victor, Caleb, Blake, Clare, Patrick, Andy, Mitchell, Eric, Francis, Sarah, Andrea, Julie, William, Kathleen, Nancy, Mary J, and a very generous stranger in New Jersey for not only tapping on the stone walls in our shared dungeon, but for bribing the guards into giving us a cake with a file in it.]
[Update: And Anh! Many thanks!]
[Continuing News Update: Many thanks to Karen M. from Calphalonia]
[Additional Gratitude Alert: Dale K in Washington. Mainey thanks!]
Not alone! We too, have a dry place to sleep, food to eat, and work to do. We are here!
Thanks for giving all that you do to make the small spaces inbetween the work-eat-sleep of our days so much more enjoyable. Blessings to you all!
well written. i love how you build each paragraph to end with a profound sentence. this was my favorite.
"People don't often appreciate things that come readily to hand. I'm a person."
i love the way you start in the impersonal third person and then make it personal.
your writing changes the way i think about writing. i'm sure some teacher somewhere tried to teach me what you do but it didn't stick.
i don't know that i can do it but at least i can see the path better.
keep up the great work and fill us in on the specifics of lifting a house, pretty please.
Thanksgiving is the only kind of prayer that you can be sure will work, because it faces backwards.
And there it is, a little piece of the sublime.
Thank you, and may you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving, sir.
It's so very tempting to try to state something profound or clever, but no...wow, well said.
Wonderful post. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Wonderful post. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Beautiful piece, Greg. I believe I will save this and use it for pull quotes down the road...with due credit of course.
Tapping here in Aiken, SC.
You are a gift, that keeps on giving. Thankful for that. Happy Thanksgiving, Sipp.
So you finally got to the point of the tale. We all have boulders to push and climb over. After we've done the work, we get to the view.
Too bad we can't be Fred Astaire tapping out thanks and praises. Or Ginger Rogers. Or The Nicholas Brothers. Mere words are all I got.
Many thanks for you and for yours and for the commentary that you find it helpful or merely necessary to comment.
May peace and blessings be upon you and upon your house.
J.S.Bridges - a reader and sometime commentor
Happy Thanksgiving, Sir.
As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short, but nevertheless am glad to hear that you and your lovely crew gathered together in thanks. You are never alone! I am thankful for all you do...and write.
What about the story of foundations and teenage help? We wanna read more about this!
I think the worst condition of man is loneliness.
It is a terrible thing to be lonely, or worse, truly alone.
A terrible thing, indeed. Perhaps the only thing worse is the realization that you are surrounded by people, yet know none of them.
That is what makes a visit to this little cottage something to be anticipated. There they are, two people attempting (and showing every indication of succeeding in the attempt) to make someone worthwhile to carry on, in someplace worthwhile to take the time and effort to maintain.
Not something to be laughed at. Something to be wondered at.
I found your writing through David Kanigan's Lead. Learn. Live. Wow, am I thankful. What I gift. As an introvert, I enjoy time alone but lately have felt loneliness seep in. I have light to share and don't want to miss a chance to love (and be heard tapping as well).
Thank you for your words and tapping.
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