Thursday, November 24, 2005

All things counter, original, spare

When Gerard Manley Hopkins thought of things to be thankful for, he composed an odd list:

"For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

"All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim ..."

I won't dare match him. Here's a more mundane, less pastoral list. I am thankful for:

the people who wake up earlier than me
to turn on running water and electricity and city buses and taxis
and traffic lights and traffic,
all so I can commute to work;

the privilege of being able to complain
about commuting to work
in one of the world's most
comfortable, green, designed cities;

novels (LeCarre, Crichton, Asis, Kazanzakis) and
The New Yorker and America and the nights
whiled away
absorbed in them;

Ludwig, my teenage Benz,
in whom the aesthetics of form and function
express the beauty of human minds;

Earl, may his karma keep on growing,
and Ephram and Amy, may they find true love,
and Luka and Abby, who may have found it,
and Bree and Susan, who will desperately keep searching;

those people important to me, you know who you are,
even if you've walked out on me,
or I've pushed you away,
or we haven't yet figured out
how to love and be loved.

That's it. Pass the pumpkin pie.
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