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Thursday, August 27, 2009

An Open Letter to a Higher Power

To whom it may concern:

Adoring life, it’s fitting to remind oneself that it’s all worth it. As I peruse this big bad beautiful world from my lowly perch, I’m compelled to hand out a heavy dose of grazie. It’s hard to rate life, because it is what it is, yet at the same time it’s more than we have any right to expect.

Thank you for the richness of aesthetics, much of which we take for granted. A simple delicate cloud wisp in the sky, that remarkable canvas that’s painted over daily. Simple, yet divinely awe-inspiring.

Thank you for the world of art, where we explore the outer reaches of our selves and discover more than we presumed.

Thank you for colors themselves. For green in particular, and how comforting it feels to look at lush grass and thick bunches of trees. For the fiery orange horizon at sunset. For dense, shiny brown hair that glistens. For the elegant skin which houses our being, for white on black in the starry night, for light blue frilly dresses. For a gallant purple tint which is somewhat of an afterthought, but pleases in its own way.

Thank you for a wide array of spectacular, blossoming flowers, which would have no earthly business being in a purely naturalistic existence for anyone to enjoy in such a manner.

Grateful for all the times you subtly intervene, and for all the times you don’t. For letting us stumble and meeting pain face to face, and realizing that it’s not permanent. For falling down and being lifted up again. For crying out of agony, and then crying for utter joy. For smiles that brighten all existence and permeate our memories when all else is stripped away.

Thank you for putting me in circumstances you did. Someone knew what was needed better than I, and it couldn’t have been picked out better myself. In fact, I sadly would have missed a lot of unsuspecting pathways. I’ve learned incessantly to defer in these matters. Second-guessing universal authorities is so unbecoming of us, after all.

I’m thankful for doubt and confusion during mortality, to incite me to work harder to find answers, and to also realize that many things aren’t meant to be understood as it’s going on. You better believe that I do, however, want someday to be right on the front row when this is all explained though. And I’m buying that ticket right now.

Thanks for the imperfections, letting us know that life can still be great despite bumps along the way, that a painting can have flaws and still be immaculate. For measuring by effort and desire, instead of by abilities and outcomes.

Thank you for such penetrating music, that winds its way into our very core and speaks to that inner being in its own melodic fashion. Life is a long song, and let’s all join in. Thank you for poetic verse and the people who know how to create it most eloquently. They decorate the language and enrich our communication. Thank you for putting the likes of Shakespeare in a place for him to emerge as he did, and make literature all the better.

Thank you for precious babies, who bring heaven with them down to earth, and emanate this aura so we can’t help but be mesmerized by its effects. Thank you for innocent little children, whose wonder is contagious. For their boundless drive, their striving to learn, their unqualified genuineness, their patently cute faces, their soft cheeks, and for how they look when napping.

Thank you for smells, which bring such pleasing sensations into our minds, developing a mood or triggering our memories in vivid detail.

Thank you for our ability to reason, to analyze, to use intuition, to make judgments, to have preferences and tastes. To be able to process mathematically, logically, intellectually, instinctively, emotionally and spiritually.

Thank you for the vast array of foods, and all the ways they can be prepared. For bacon, no doubt. For succulently ripened summer peaches drenched voluptuously in milk and sugar, just begging to be consumed. For wondrous melted cheese on any respectable entrée. And to the entire delightful realm of cheesedom. For jerky. For smoked salmon. For homemade bread and luscious butter. Ahhhhh! For grilled chicken that sings to our palates. For cashews. For blackberries picked fresh off the bush. For cinnamon rolls. For glorious unnamed spices that make our taste buds dance the marimba. And for chocolate… Mm-mmm. Chocolate, that is the clincher. You really outdid yourself there. Additionally, someone wise once said that ice cream was your apology for cold, and if that’s true, apology accepted.

Thank you for that blissfully refreshing respite known as sleep, at night or as cozy, heavy-breathing napfests. To escape for a time into dreamland and let go, floating in slow motion at the end of a suspended rope where no care can go or wish to subsist, all the while making perfect, lovely sense.

Thank you for sight itself, for which many other things would not be possible. To look even upon a pile of garbage is actually a wonderful thing in its own right.

Thank you for the touch of a hand to heal, the irreplaceable nonverbal tactile assurance that helps you know that everything is going be fine. A stroke on the cheek. A pat on the back. A head on the shoulder.

Thank you for comforting voices, for soft whispers, for soothing laughs. For lilts in speech, for accents, for manners of elocution, for the signature sound left by each individual. For idiosyncrasies, for unique attributes, for personalities.

Thank you for opposites. For coldness so we can appreciate the warmth. For heat so we can appreciate the coolness. For darkness so we can appreciate the light. For anger so we can appreciate the kindness. For sharks so we can appreciate the dolphin, for pigs so we can appreciate the gazelle. For chaos so we can appreciate the calm. For fear so we can appreciate security. For illness so we can appreciate health. For loneliness so we can appreciate companionship. For exhaustion so we can appreciation rest. And for the rascals so we can appreciate the genuine articles.

Thank you for giving me arms and legs to ambulate and let me interact with the world. For being able to move and feel motion, to sense progression and arrival to a goal.

Thank you for the grace of a horse running in a field, for migrating ducks speckled across the vast atmosphere, for the splendor of a sandy beachfront setting with cascading waves kissing the shore, for waterfalls, for sparkling, stunning, scintillating rainbows, for varied gems and precious metals, for water, for air, for breath.

Thank you for the excitement of surprises. For the variety in life. For life’s seasonal miracles… the solemnity of a fall morning, a gentle summer breeze in the shade, or snowflakes silently making their descent to the whitened ground below.

Thank you for giving us each an intricate mind, with the curious potential to ponder past its limits, with the ability to simultaneously consider the cosmos as well as the atomic scale, and then the deep philosophies regarding the very essence of being.

For the mystery of time, of gravity, and of the DNA imprint. For the thousands of ways to have a hobby. For endorphins in copious quantities. For inside jokes and their accompanying smirks. For three-year-olds falling asleep in your arms.

Thank you for the pitter-patter of rain, the most blissful and cleansing of all weather, as a rainy day is that occasion when the soul can expand to join with the sky. To be drenched in the profound ecstasy of wet.

Thank you for the pastoral nature of baseball, the grace of its movements, its majestic parks, for the sound of wood on horsehide, for mammoth drives into the nether regions. For having a catch.

Thank you for chess, which managed to avoid the extraneous human machinations and remain pure.

Thank you for the wonderful aspect of funniness, which can tickle us into submission and help us internalize that in life, though ultimately serious, can be garnered plentiful instances of mirth to temper any festering doldrums through using that glorious sixth sense of humor.

For wiggle room, gray areas, uncertainty, ambiguity, limbo, fogginess, margins, and cushions.

For challenges, for tests of will, for struggles, for hard work, for lofty aims to shoot for. For energy, for inspiration, for motivation, for comfort, for peace.

Thank you for putting me in this time, this place, and amongst all these flawed individuals with whom I fit in so perfectly. Our stewardships are curious things as they all intertwine. Thank you for those you can trust and depend on as if they were your own self. These are without price and defy description, truly encompassing all that is.

Thank you for the strong bonds of family, who bring us greater identity, who can be there when all else is lost, and who can transcend distractions of the world and the bands of death.

Thank you lastly for love, a manifestation of the infinite worth of souls and of the incomprehensible glory of life which you have made and have chosen to share with us.

Miracles? What miracles? This is all commonplace, right? I digress, and look up for direction.

I spell out the words upon each movement. My life — it’s my thanks, and every breath I live it is to further express it.

TY

10 comments:

Audrey said...

To add: Thank you for words and the authors who put our thoughts into them so we can feel more deeply. Loverly.

Carrie said...

That was the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I want those words with me everyday.

Brian said...

Amen! As always - well said!

Divad Nosnhoj said...

Dear Lyricist Rusty, I rarely get online or have time to sit still, but today I checked out your Blog and found your gratitude re-awakening my gratitude for the beauty all around that goes largely unnoticed when it should be celebrated as you have done here! You need to get a musician to partner with you to augment your musical words. Bravo! There is beauty all around! Captain Davey

Sara said...

Rusty - Your words touched me today and will for a long time, as I've printed this out to read over and over again.

I think this is the most powerful, heartfelt, amazing blog I've ever read.

Thank you for these words.

Byte said...

I read, "...thank you for giving me arms and legs to amputate..." so you see where my thought processes go.

I must say, there were paragraphs of this I wanted to print, frame, hang above my door, and slap each day as I leave my house.

Very, very well done, Rusty!

Rusty Southwick said...

I'm overwhelmed by these responses. Thank you all for leaving notes here. All of you are so welcome. It's really nice to have people out there who can relate. I write to try to understand, and if it can resonate to others, it makes it all the more worthwhile. It causes me to wake up to the notion that none of us are truly islands. I took something away from each one of your comments, and it means even more knowing who they're from. I realize that this isn't about me, but it's about all of us. All else I can say is 'wow' and thank you for helping me feel that I've contributed in some way.

Anonymous said...

Rusty,

Many parts of your treatise on gratitude will be posted on my walls, desk, and in my brain to remember daily. Beautiful writing which eminated from a beautiful mind.
Dixie

Raji said...

Rusty,

All I can say after reading your article is nothing but a big WOWWWWWWW...

Your article never failed to put a broad smile in my face....

I would like to add one line to your article..
Thank you for having souls like that of RUSTY to listen and enjoy to things with microscopic eyes and inspiring others to do so..

Regards
Raji

Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful.

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