Thursday, November 27, 2008

An Atheist's Thanksgiving II: This Time It's Personal

I have so many people to thank this Thanksgiving--including you, if you are reading this (which you are). If you recognize yourself in the following verses, you are quite right. That's you. If you don't recognize yourself, don't worry--none of it is made up; that verse just happens to be about someone else. One verse actually fits two different sets of people at two different times (once in Sofia, once in NYC); so it is, clearly, about both. The "building which once housed petroleum tanks" is not just there for the rhyme--it was in the Gazi district of Athens, where old industrial buildings have been reclaimed into galleries, nightclubs, and fashionable places to meet.

It is quite heavy on thanking the people who helped me to go, and helped me while I went, on my trip this past summer. I have said it before, but I literally could not have gone without the readers of this blog who pitched in and tucked money in my tip jar. This was the biggest thing that has happened in my life in some time, so yeah, this year's verse is weighted a bit toward that wonderful adventure. It also lacks a proper final verse. I could make up something about how that is supposed to indicate that there are hundreds more to thank, but the truth is I couldn't think of one.

The whole family is under one roof right now, for the first time since the end of Summer. Time is simultaneously so fast and so slow these days; I think I will sign off now, and go enjoy some of it. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it, and to those who don't, thanks... just because.

I will gather today with some people I love
I’ll thank them instead of some something above
The place where we gather will not have a steeple
And though some of the people might think that it’s odd
I won’t thank some invisible god
Some invisible fictional god

To J____ in Bulgaria, and to D____ in Greece
And to many more—always the numbers increase—
After this, I know travel’s exciting, not scary
So Greeks and Bulgarians, Aussies and Yanks
Are the people to whom I give thanks
And I will, to my dying day, thanks…

I give thanks to my colleagues—there’s so much I owe,
I couldn’t have done it without them, I know
And my travel companions I’ve come to adore
And I know there are more, but I’m drawing a blank
There’s so many more people to thank.
I have hundreds of people to thank

I give thanks to the people who came to my aid
I am still overwhelmed by the difference you made
To G____, who help me to navigate dangers
And generous strangers who reached to their banks
Now they’re friends, and they’re whom I give thanks
With tears in my eyes, I give thanks

I give thanks to my readers, the near and the far,
The new ones and old ones—you know who you are—
There are only a few whom I’ve met face to face
Though I’m still in the basement of internet ranks
It’s my readers to whom I give thanks
Yes, you get your personal thanks

I give thanks to my good friends like K___ and like M____
And the wonderful night that I shared just with them
Though we all knew the sunrise would come without warning
Till three in the morning we talked and we drank
You are two of the people I thank
Two wonderful people I thank

To V___ who’s the reason I went on my trip
And who almost, so tragically, slipped through my grip
We went out for a drink, where I stared like a dunce,
In a building which once housed petroleum tanks
She’s the woman to whom I give thanks
More than anyone else, she gets thanks


Anomic Entropy said...

Thank you for crafting such joyful, inspiring poetry and freely sharing it with us all. I stumbled across your work in Pharyngula comments and have been a fan ever since.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Cuttles, for all your inspiring verses.
Hope you, and all your readers, had a happy day.
This is the verse I wrote for my family,
but it goes just as well for all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the reason,
The gratitudiest season,
For thankfulness, laughter and joy.
To come all together
In all kinds of weather
Our bountiful world to enjoy.

Our turkey-filled tummies
‘And many more yummies,
Remind us how lucky we are.
So here’s to your happies,
All dripping with sappies,
From Anfractuous to y’all, near and far.