I Will Continue to be Grateful, Regardless

Kousa Dogwood, Fall, 2016

Kousa Dogwood,
Fall, 2016

Five days before the presidential election of 2016, I am anxious, eager for closure, a resolution to the intense, verbal barrage of words—all framed to influence my vote.

I am a Hillary supporter—have been, hope to continue, long after November 8th. I am grateful for her spunk, her dogged effort to pursue her aspiration, her fortitude and persistence. If she wins, I will be ever-so-much-more grateful for all her effort and the efforts of all who have worked to support her. And, if she does not, I hope to continue to seek, focus on and attain a sense of gratitude.

I have found that gratitude can be accessed and noted every day. Gratitude is present if one pays attention. In this media based society, so focused on the input of news and opinion making, it is challenging but necessary to step back, shut out the media/Facebook/tweeting and shift into the quest for quiet and paced reflection.

There are so many levels of gratitude, the choice evoked by attentiveness to an immediate resonance— a heartfelt memory, a meaningful encounter, the promise of satisfying effort. I learned to slow down while collecting limpet shells on the Maine shoreline. Nowadays, I slow down to collect moments of gratitude in my garden, in my everyday encounters, in my reflections as I shower.

At a recent women’s group meeting, I heard anxiety in the discussion of my close peers. How alike we are in our anxiety over the fate of our nation and especially with regard to our children and grandchildren’s future. Yet, in spite of the worrisome undercurrents in our circle, because we zeroed in and narrowed our range of concern and interest, each of us was able to focus on aspects of gratitude in our lives.

I spoke of my gratitude for my writing practice, the opportunity to pursue multiple options, the struggle to attend to one or two pieces and bring them to completion. In a month, I will have published 52 gratitude posts on my blog.

But what of November 9th? If my candidate loses, will I be able to focus and seek the kinetic attachment, pen to paper, articulate the gratitude experience at a gut/visceral experience, find the words to seek the balance basic to my mantra: Gratitude is as Gratitude Does?

The answer is as always—onward. On the drive home from the meeting in Lowell, there were four of us. Claudine, an artist, commented on how, in her urban environment, she had thought the fall colors had waned but that on the highway, she noticed an abundance of orange/yellow trees in full array. I was grateful for her observing eye: the many shapes and designs, the glorious display, which heightened my sense of being.

I offer this as metaphor— for all of us in the aftermath of November 8th, to notice the ever-changing landscape, to seek what attracts and resonates, to articulate what makes you grateful, to express thankfulness in word or deed.

 

22 thoughts on “I Will Continue to be Grateful, Regardless

  1. Hy Kempler

    Faye
    You articulate a wise perspective. While important the election however it turns outis not all of our lives.
    Being mindful and grateful for so much else is what I plan on. But let’s win nevertheless!
    Hy

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Well, we didn’t win but I remain grateful for perspective, news outlets are becoming more & more transparent and outspoken and the support of good friends.

  2. Carol

    Faye
    Love your gratitude for Hillary and all those who are working to support her. So appreciate how a focus on our own gratitude will allow us to deal with our election tension and if (OMG) we end up facing a Trump presidency. If that happens, I’ll need to meet you in your garden to hug one another in comfort and readiness to face our Nation’s future. We will also hug in gratitude for each other.
    Carol

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Carol, as I write this, the day is long and I am hopeful. Regardless, you are more than welcome into my garden any time! There is always something—rain or shine— attracts my sensibility and evokes gratitude.

  3. Mary Beth Pope

    Thanks, Faye. I’m with you in my eagerness for this election to be over, and over in Hillary Clinton’s favor. But I’m grateful for our writing group, whatever happens.

  4. Pat

    Grateful each and every day that you are my dearest of friends…loving, caring, supportive, fun, smart and a thoughtful writer!

  5. Joan Kerzner

    Amen, Faye! Focusing on what is really important in our lives continues to matter, and being grateful for the opportunity to do so remains paramount. Thanks for your carefully chosen words.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Joan, yes, I so appreciate how you honor the opportunity and blessings to have both perspective and experience as an elder.

  6. Heather

    Yes, Faye! In this season of unrest it’s too easy to dwell on the negative. Your blog is a wonderful reminder that despite whatever happens in the presidential election, we must remain grateful for all the good and there’s plenty of it!

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Heather, thank you for articulating how essential it is to step back and notice— “there is so much good and plenty of it!”

  7. Eva Skolnik-Acker

    Dear Faye
    Thank you yet again for reminding me that there is always room for gratitude. It helps in the worries of life and especially on the day before the most momentous election in American history
    Warmly
    Evs

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Eva, I’m glad my post is helpful as we wade through the day before. Connection to friends and what we can bring to one another is such a gift.

  8. claudine

    I am so grateful to you for listening and hearing my joy in the landscape colors. So often when I exclaim over visual delights I think “who am I to claim everyone’s attention” but I can not seem to stop so what pleasure to know that it was meaningful to this wonderful writer. I Know that you bring special treats for me by your words in every blog.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Claudine, I was so appreciative of that moment when you exclaimed and I was able to turn my head and take in the sweep of glorious landscape which at once lifted me beyond to trees and sky. Exclaim on about visual delights, my friend! I am listening.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Kat, thanks for your kind feedback. Don’t forget the Celtic Weave! I find it essential these mornings.

  9. Beverly Bader

    Thank you Faye for helping me allay my anxiety about the election tomorrow to focus on gratitude, even during this horrendous verbal election storm. I have always supported Hillary. Every night I send her my blessings, grateful to her for all the good that she has already given to our country. If she loses, and I bite my tongue, our country will go on but with much difficulty. Yet, I have no doubt that Hillary’s future positive influence will continue. It’s in her blood and in her heart.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      I so appreciate your heartfelt comments, Bev! I love that you send Hillary your blessings every night. She would be buoyed by your spirited generosity.

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