A THOUGHT FOR THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving and Transformation

Thanksgiving and Transformation

© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Years ago
on the side of a mountain
at about 8,500 feet
I spent the night alone.
Cold that night
ice on the ground,
and I was snuggled down
in my mummy bag
all toasty and warm.
In the middle of the night
I awakened with myself
turned around.
The back of my head
to the small opening
I had drawn up and tied off.
My face,
of course was to the back
of the mummy top.
My hands and arms were
more or less tied under my stomach.
You do know that a mummy bag
is very, very tight at best,
and this was worst.
I am not generally claustrophobic
but I was for that moment
of bound up blindness.
My first instinct was
full on panic
but I quickly figured
the folly in that,
so I calmed my breathing,
steadied myself,
and slowly began wiggling,
inch by inch and
degree by degree
to turn my body
around so I could get
my face to the small opening
and breathe and see and get my bearings.
I did and I lay there thankful
and grateful
for stars, Jeffery pines outlined
in the black night sky,
and ice cold air to breathe.

# # #

I begin with this story
because
so many I know have become
metaphorically turned
around in their sleeping bags.
I am not directing this
at the clinically depressed,
except to say
stay on your meds
and seek help
if you have suicidal thoughts.
Some of what I write here
may help, but is not to
be intended instead of
medical help.
This is written for my
many friends who
are feeling so outraged
by what they see going on
around them
that they seem to be in
a state of desperation.
Politics,
terrorism,
broken relationships,
torn apart families,
deaths of ones they loved,
and there is a pervading sense of
hopelessness,
haplessness,
loneliness,
joylessness,
and lostness
stealing their souls.
Name calling and other bashing
is becoming the norm
for the brokenhearted.
And in the same way
that I found a solution
in my turned-around
position in my sleeping bag,
I would like to offer a
suggestion to those
who find their lives
as I found my body.
Breathe and find a place within you
that is still and quiet and peaceful.
There will surely be no place
outside you that will offer this.
It is there, trust me,
so do not just write this off
as an offering by an idiot.
Then inch by inch,
degree by degree,
begin to turn yourself around.
It will not be easy.
It will not be smooth.
My mummy bag
caught and grabbed
me with every move I made,
coming with me and holding back
in my turning around process.
Start by not falling into
every trap of negativity
that is offered you.
Break the cycle of
discontent by
sidestepping issues that
will spring like a steel-jawed trap.
Begin to consider things that are good
as being more efficacious
than the bad things you hear about.
I do not care if you pray
or believe in God or a higher power,
but try meditation,
or focusing on some positive image
for a few minutes a day.
Begin small
and then work yourself up
to longer and longer times.
THERE ARE GOOD THINGS
ON WHICH TO FOCUS
so don’t write this off.
Last,
when you lay awake
sleepless at night
your mind is usually
running wild on
everything that
has gone wrong,
is going wrong,
might go wrong.
Switch the wrong things out
for right, good, things.
Nurture your soul
with love.
Nurture yourself
with love.
Instead of dwelling on lost or bad love,
find the good moments
and give thanks for the
true love you did have.
Give thanks for
the possibility of tomorrow.
Give thanks
that you can give thanks.
Nothing changes overnight.
There is no magic pill to take.
Healing will not happen
if you will not
really want it.
And let’s admit it,
self-destruction is
easier than
the struggle and hard work
needed for healing
a sad life,
and there are hundreds of excuses
you can use as to why
my suggestions won’t work,
how full of shit I am,
how you’re so broken,
wounded—lazy—
you can’t do it.
But if you want it you can have it.
Just not without the work.
Desperation can be replaced with hope.
I pray you find blessings in your lives,
that you will know lasting joy,
that you can find one thing
today
for which you can be thankful.

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