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Gratitude and Thanksgiving

For 25 years, I have been running variations of this Thanksgiving column. During the years when I had stopped posting regular blog entries, I started writing regular entries in a gratitude journal, which got me to thinking of the difference between thankful and grateful. Google isn't much help:

Grateful: feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful.
Thankful: pleased and relieved, grateful

So, basically, it treats the words as synonymous. I do still give thanks for my health and my family. I am also grateful to have them in my life. I am grateful to be of use, to my family and others. [Turns out service is a Love Language] I am grateful for the love I get and the loving kindness I am now obliged to give everyone, since my heart Chakra opened.

If you feel life has been dealing to you from the bottom of the deck, I recommend the practice of keeping a gratitude journal. Write down one or two things each day for which you are grateful. Big or small, serious or silly. It can be an interesting and rewarding activity.

Me? I’m grateful for everything. Family, career, health, another beautiful day, and one more chance to set foot on this good green Earth. Happy Thanksgiving!

Link To My Poem: Pandemic Thanksgiving

To Script or Not To Script?

That isn’t really even a question. I’ve been told I should be speaking from notes. I previously noted that I did not manage that trick during my last concert MC job. Then, I realized I had done an entire half-hour radio broadcast of my love songs, since my come-to-Jesus moment with my friends, sans script. Not even the opening, and I have been scripting the openings of my live broadcasts since I was 14. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. As we used to say in the old days, Honk Honk, Waddles The Goose.

Grandson: Less or Fewer

First, a quick note. He is now in pre-K. On Halloween his school had a parade so parents could see all the costumes, He wasn’t very happy about it, but walked around the blacktop twice. He did smile when he saw his mom and me.

Later, he asked me to tighten his seat belt fewer. I said, “Less.” He said, “I know the rule. Fewer for things you can count, less for things you can’t count.”

I responded with examples: fewer dolls, less water.

He thought for a moment, then said, “You could count water if you froze it and broke it into pieces.”

I was deeply impressed. I doubt that answer would have come to me at age 4.

Fabulous Writer: H. Claire Taylor

Run, don’t walk, to this woman’s Amazon page and buy everything she has ever written. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: most self-published Kindle books aren’t worth the electrons they are written on. H. Claire Taylor is a prominent exception.

In terms of wit, talent, style and writing ability, she is a worthy successor to Douglas Adams in the relatively narrow field of Comic Science Fiction with her Alice Luck series. Admittedly, she does seem to channel Adams now and then, but perhaps the range of tropes available in this genre is limited. Or great minds thing alike. In any case, Adams is no longer with us and Taylor is.

She has three series, all of them excellent: 7 Jessica Christ books, 4 Kihaven police books, and 5 Alice Luck books, the latest being Luck Off and Fly. My rave review of that book will be forthcoming soon, but I simply felt it was time to plug Taylor again, in general.

She calls her mailing list The New Collective, and provides both news of upcoming books and free short stories. She also rattles the cup now and then, but with no publisher providing fat advances, who can blame her?

Her website is not the easiest to navigate, but here is the link (Get A Story for Free) to sign up for her mailing list.

Mom Said: Jesus in India

I ended up talking a lot about my late mother at a dinner recently, and one of the people at the table suggested that I write her biography. I don’t think I can do it; I’m too close. But I have decided to share some of her wisdom with you under the rubric Mom Said.

Mom believed, because her father believed, that Jesus’ lost years between 13 and 21 (the New Testament says nothing about this period) were spent in India, learning about Hinduism.

 During a recent discussion a friend suggested that Jesus spent those years in the desert getting in touch with the collective unconscious. Occam’s razor says the simpler explanation is much more likely; given the difficulty in getting from the Holy Land to India, maybe what we view as a Hindu influence on Jesus was just expression of fundamental human nature.

In a discussion of this topic, a Jungian surprised me with an influence going the other way: Gandhi disciplined himself to read daily from the Sermon on the Mount, and live according to those teachings.