Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Concerning Gratitude

Gratitude--that's a tough one, easy
to fake, or to ruin even when you're
not pretending. It isn't the same
as feeling lucky, and when you
express it, you should feel as if there's
plenty more left in the pond. Wait.
I shouldn't speak for anyone but me.

I feel as if gratitude isn't just
liking what's come my way but
marveling that I came this way
& that there is a way.

I feel as if gratitude isn't
an inventory of tools, jewelry,
machines, money, and enemies.
I don't think it's taking stock,
recording victories, or even,
heaven forbid, counting blessings.
--Nothing against accounting,
but gratitude's not a ledger.

I get this idea of the whole, and,
yes, I know what I just wrote's
as vague as fog. Gratitude
makes me kind of quiet--
and careful, because it's easy
to let slip away, gratitude.
It seems to be a large but delicate
emotion--yes, warm inside,
true enough, but cool to the touch.

Hans Ostrom

Copyright 2008 Hans Ostrom
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