Thursday, November 23, 2006

gratitude

This video is 20 years old.
Back in the Reagan80's, we started whittling away our culture, systematically snuffing out voices from the past. We insisted the past was gone, useless. No one liked William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, those old "Beat" guys and their self-sure and often obscene chronicling, smartly raging against the hypocrisy of the society which surrounded them.
In this post-PoetrySlam era we celebrate that very hypocrisy. We eschew stark and effective language for cutesy rhymes. We trade the integrity of shocking imagery for ooh-naughty words. Words are cheap. Cheap and poorly-defined and ill-used.
As life itself.
Now.
I miss that kind of poetry.
Are we too cool to Howl ? Have we grown past the old man, or grown too self-possessed to bother listening?
Are we too jaded, too frightened, or too stupid for irony ?
And, barely facing it, do we tighten our choking grasp on the things we profess to love -- family and friends and stuff -- and choke the life out of them in our "gratitude."
Which smells a lot like "avarice."
Do we even know what gratitude means?
We stopped holding doors open because doors are mechanical, automatic.
We stopped being courteous at intersections because the signal allows us to.
You blithely Bluetooth with unseen others, scorning those near you.
Your colleague.
Your lover.
Your sister.
A stranger with an idea that might save your life.
In a pest-free world, you could thrive.
It's much easier not having to say "Thank You."
Because gratitude is a word which demands action. Gratitude is an on-going, active, impelling word.
I have learned that when I actively remind myself to be grateful,
It strengthens me.
So every day I'll studiously, seriously, persistently, and earnestly

Thank You.

(for Karie, on her birthday)

1 comment:

Julie said...

Happy birthday, former TCR!