Thanksgiving

Telluride Daily Planet, Sunday, November 18, 2012

Just recently, I see a saying I like from a post on Facebook or Instragram or Pinterest, I forget which one because I try to forget because I’d prefer to have picked it up old school, like from a fortune cookie or out of a book I’m flipping through in the library or, better yet, from a handwritten snippet someone has left in a book about honeybees, say, or the Lewis and Clark expedition.It is the kind of saying one thinks about while stirring oatmeal, or writes on the blackboard of ones mind during the afterschool of one’s day, so that one can internalize it, so that one can live the words rather than just curtsying politely to them.

A quick Google gives me the original and superior epithet, another little biscuit tossed to us school children by Albert Einstein, and because I sense that his original words, too, will have been used on T-shirts and posters and posts and paraphrased and pithed in different but equally dumbed down ways, I find myself at the online Yoda-Speak Generator I’m so very fond of. Because with the exotic flourish of a fictional extraterrestrial from an unnamed world, cannot the oft-said sound new again? Worth a try.

“Only two ways to live your life, there are. Miracle, one is as though nothing is. Miracle, the other is as though everything is.”

Right?

So: What if, one day, while you are looking at Persian rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, staring at textiles so fine your skin melts, you suddenly hear these two-ways-to-live-your-life words as if for the very first time? Your immune system, fueled by revelation, screams out in health, as you and your neuropeptides parse out the sentiment: that for one thing, it is a miracle you are here at all, let alone on a bench, in an unpeopled area of an unbelievable structure containing all of history, and staring at walls dripping with irresistible wool finery from another juicy slice of time and another quadrant of the globe.Maybe it’s the softly hypnotic dripping water from a nearby fountain, but, wow, all of a sudden, yes, you feel the force of Yoda-stein’s words: “Miracle, the other is as though everything is.” It starts with rugs, but it explodes, fireworking everywhere — just everywhere.

In a flash, you see the brilliance of artists and scientists walking down their soft red carpets of talent, and then you see the 10,000 other shades of red encountered every day, from the rims of eyes to the insides of ripe figs to blushing cheeks to pomegranates and to cinders that glow crimson with heat. And then you see flames licking up with cores of flint-like blue, flames like the one in the candle you light on your wooden table, the one heaped with bounty and attended by friends, the multifarious people who miraculously stand by you when you are way down or up again or everywhere in between.

Have you counted them lately, these snowflake dears whose crystalline mind-hearts hold you so close? Who have, to some extent created the filigree in your own design, the one having nothing at all to do with ego or vanity or pride but with the person you have become including the one who can at the very least and with some measure of humility start to sense the importance of Miracle/No miracle and the nature of choice?

And beyond the scope of the ridiculously abundant world you live in, where you are warm as toast even on the coldest and darkest January day, where jagged peaks tower above you, thrumming out their deep-rock vibrations, and topped, depending on the season, with green or white velvets, where ice forms and then melts and spills down the mountainsides forming rivers that nourish the body of Earth like veins and arteries, beyond the absurdity of wealth nature rapid fires at us every day with its sky-shows and wind-howls and beetles bravely putting one foot in front of the other on the pavement of a lonely road —

And what if, beyond all this, even, is the miracle of everyday-ness. Where you are here. In the present moment, staring out of a double-paned window in your house at the tines of bare branches, gray and white and dun colored, and at a small ordinary bird perched on one of its twigs. The light is watery and wintry and extremely tender and time stands still, still enough for you fathom, for a brief and glorious moment, the billions of details, like diamonds in the night sky, that you now have in your coffers should you choose to look around.

Then, what if you chose to look around?

Worthy of you and Yoda and Einstein and Tiny Tim, that, my friends, would be.

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