It is thinking about thankfulness time of year. When the thought of thankfulness arises, Sofia the cat comes to mind foremost. I am not thankful that Caterpillar left the body, but am thankful that the timing worked out as it did with Sofia becoming available. I'm thankful for Sofia all day every day. I have to say I'm grateful I read. It has been in my mind quite a bit this week how beneficial reading has been in my life. It especially came yesterday reading in Lu Yu's book of poems. His poems are so beautiful to read, I feel my life would have been diminished without appreciation for art in all its forms. I believe I would do well to follow my appreciation more, give less attention to fake news, more attention to art forms. When I'm bored and don't want to read, I can pick up a book of Larry Rivers paintings and look in it as long as I feel like it. I have a book of the complete works of Constantin Brancusi with text I want to read, but have not yet, written by his two closest friends, also from Romania, who lived in the apartment above his apartment/studio in Paris.
Looking at it rationally, I'd so much rather read about Brancusi's life and art than Donald Trump's latest narcissistic rant or the latest too-stupid-to-believe-anybody-said-it from Ted Cruz running his mouth. They are amusing in their unconscious ignorance, but scary to think it is their ignorance that appeals to half the population. Jeb Bush and W went to Yale. I used to think Yale was a good school. Ted Cruz went to Harvard Law school and Princeton undergrad. What? Bobby Jindal went to Oxford in England. I used to think these were hard schools. Trey Gowdy was a practicing lawyer in South Carolina, meaning he made it through law school and undergrad. How? That our public figures have such good schooling puzzles me. I used to think there was something to education. Evidently not. Carly Fiorina a CEO? Really? Of course, she bankrupted the corporation, but how did she get the position? Sarah Palin was a governor in Alaska. How? One of the greatest changes I've seen in my lifetime is the upfront ignorance in politicians since the Reagan Revolution to the point they campaign by parading their ignorance.
I suspect the elected officials are showing us that they represent us only as a mirror image. If today's politicians are a pie slice of the population, the American people have been rendered comatose after two-thirds of a century of television. We're seeing now the uprisings of the ignorant, and they got guns and ammo galore. So much hate and hatefulness in the air, it feels toxic and I see it in the faces of so many, in hateful attitudes. Arguing and harping about yes we are a Christian nation, no two ways about it. Like the pope said recently, it is a farce to celebrate Christmas in the atmosphere of hate that smothers the world today. It's hard to find a way to be thankful for schoolyard slayings. Things like the Paris shootings I have to tell myself are other people's problems. I live across the sea from France where I would be regarded with disdain for being an American. I have no business there. I draw inward all the way to home, my spot on earth, my quiet home in a mountain glen, my world in a human perspective my own. What's going on out there is somebody else's karma, not mine. I am grateful to have reached a place within that I am able to see that my business is right here at home with a laptop, a cat and two donkeys. I'm grateful for the donkeys, grateful for the cat, grateful for the people I know, grateful to the people of Whitehead community for allowing me a place among them.
Again, I'm grateful to be a reader. I can spend all my time in the only place I want to be and travel in my head to various places around the globe. There is so much good writing around the globe, so much good visual art, good dance, good music, I'd rather give my attention to good writing, good histories, biographies, autobiographies, plays, poetry, than to television's invasive insistence that I continually buy stuff I don't want, be a pipeline to the landfill. I am grateful all the way to the soul that I lost interest in television young, stopped watching at age 21, grateful not to have a head full of commercials and sitcoms. I'm grateful for the spirit of curiosity I've had all the way along. Perhaps I'm most grateful for learning to love, which has been the central core of my life over the last half.