Eighty Four Shades of Gratitude
A Thanksgiving Collage
Christina Hutchins' Thanksgiving Note
Dear ones, I am thankful for you. & for the meadowlark who has chosen a nearby roof-ridge. For the compassionate flow of the cosmos continuing while we rest. The leading edges of storm fronts over the Pacific. For time befriended. Old growth Redwood forests & days spent among them. Coffee made by other hands. Spontaneous laughter & serious concentration of beloved children. For wooden building blocks. Pens. Paper. Eyeglasses. Maybe even for the sadnesses that tell us how deeply we stain one anothers' lives. Typewriters. Boots. Strangers and the neverbefore. Beethoven's terrible dedication to making, Alfred North Whitehead's, Judith Butler's, & the poets'. For the funny canned cranberry sauce that in a few hours will ride shotgun, a measly contribution to the most generous of feasts, but desired anyway. For breeze on bare skin & reaching to play our hair after illness. For gentlenesses of every kind.
Gratitude for Christina Hutchins
The Fallacy of Misplaced Thanksgiving
The fallacy of misplaced thanksgiving occurs when we give thanks to an abstraction in our minds -- perhaps the image of an ultimate source -- and forget to thank the concrete realities that enrich our lives: our friends, the meadowlark on the nearby roof-ridge, canned cranberry sauce that will soon be eaten, gentlenesses of every kind, and maybe even the sadnesses that reveal so much about our relationships. In Whitehead's philosophy these multiple sources of grace are part of the unity of God. When we thank them, we are thanking God, too.
Gratitude for the Manyness of God
Thus the consequent nature of God is composed of a multiplicity of elements with individual self-realization. It is just as much a multiplicity as it is a unity; it is just as much one immediate fact as it is an unrest-ing advance beyond itself. Thus the actuality of God must also be understood as a multiplicity of actual components in process of creation. This is God in his function of the kingdom of heaven.
Gratitude for Swingsets