{11•4 gratitudinous}

I have a list of things which are bugging me and the people around me around which to focus my gratitudes this month. That’s weird, but… it’s a misunderstanding that everything we have gratitude for has to be, positive. Or nice. Or good. The gratitude I’m trying to – or maybe forced to – focus on is perhaps mostly made up of ‘despite,’ instead of ‘for;’ I’m grateful in spite of things instead of because of them, perhaps. And maybe it’s a silly parsing of emotion down to the microlevel, maybe it’s like people not admitting to being angry, but just ‘a bit upset.’ But for me, this way of wrestling circumstance and squeezing out the tiny drop of gratitude that remains is a way to feel in control of… something. Pointless? Perhaps. But, it’s both a process, and a thing that works for me. It reminds me, oddly, of my friends with their few olive trees, making table olives, and oil. It’s a process, extracting a little gold from bitterness.

It’s turning my attention away from the unprocessed mass of angst, and distilling my attention to the one thing I can control – how I respond. This is not a small thing.

So, thanks, for that. For a focus bent like light refracted through water, concentrating everything onto a singular bright spot.


it’s not hard to make –
fresh olives, crushed into paste
wait and separate
the bitter from the sublime
a better ending, in time.