I am in the L’s of my poetry books, so here is one by Thomas Lynch, a poetry-writing funeral director. My favorite poem by him is almost 40 lines and a little long for my blog. It is called “Local Heroes”. Perhaps you can find it online or purchase the book from which that poem and today’s is found, i.e. Walking Papers, published by W. W. Norton and Company.
Refusing at Fifty-two to Write Sonnets
It came to him that he could nearly count
How many Octobers he had left to him
In increments of ten or, say, eleven
Thus: sixty-three, seventy-four, eighty-five.
He couldn’t see himself at ninety-six–
Humanity’s advances not withstanding
In health, self-help, or New Age regimens–
What with his habits and family history,
The end he thought is nearer than you think.
The future, thus confined to its contingencies,
The present moment opens like a gift:
The balding month, the grey week, the blue morning,
The hour’s routine, the minute’s passing glance–
All seem like godsends now. And what to make of this?
At the end the word that comes to him is Thanks.
I am almost 75. I was diagnoses some 14 years ago with ALS. After a bout of serious depression, I turned to writing a thanksgiving list of people, places, events (major and minor) for which I was and remain thankful. The depression lifted–most days. 2 years later I was told that the ALS was gone, never to return! It was a wonderful day.
I am not thankful that I had ALS, but I am thankful that I learned the importance of thanksgiving. I continue to keep the list up, but I confess, more sporadically.
However just this last week, I read something about a library or a librarian. My thoughts wandered back to my childhood. I remembered discovering the Albertville Library–then located downtown. It was there that I fell in love with reading. So, I added that experience to my thanksgiving list.
I always feel closer to God or the divine whenever I am thankful. It is a wonderful pathway.
nibbling at our feeders
As always feel free to share with a friend–and be thankful for those you have! Peace, LaMon