It’s Thanksgiving and I awoke finding myself both wistful and poetic of times past and also of a thankful mind for what is as well as what was. Shortly after I awoke a dear friend called upset to find on his Thanksgiving Day he was going to have to put down his dog of over 13 years. His pup was a friend to two of my now departed dogs. I found memories of them all flooding back. And though sad, I found myself thankful for those times now gone as well as thankful as I looked down and saw Buddy, my present four-footed friend, the happiest dog I have ever known. I smiled and vowed to make the most of our love not despite the fact that one day he would be gone, rather because of it.

I realized that all we are thankful for is in a sense made more against the backdrop of all we have lost and will lose. It seemed ironic that the best way we can consecrate our blessings is by fully committing to making our times together so great, so that we in essence make the greatest possible future heartbreak.

Those slices of time we shared with others gone were ours alone. And poorer we would be without them. They are the stuff of our lives. I know I am most thankful for them.

A second thought came from my talk with my friend. He remarked that I have great dog karma. And I agree. (I can hear the tails wagging over the Rainbow Bridge.)

That started me thinking about the things that seem to happen and whether they are “meant to be” or just an artifact of random occurrences that occur every minute. Some coincidences happen that by the law of limitless monkeys at limitless typewriters, accidentally contain poetry. So we notice them and read meaning into them. As opposed to the “meaningless” coincidences that go unnoticed every second of every day in every life.

I ask, “If the reader doesn’t know his copy of Romeo and Juliet was not from Shakespeare but random monkey paw, is it less valuable? Or more?”

I don’t, won’t and can’t be sure or make the “leap of faith or reason” to live my life as if either possibility is “The Truth.”

There’s a small flicker in the flame of my life that hopes for, holds, and cherishes the belief that this kaleidoscope of circumstance has meaning. That our actions set forces in motion that creates future confluence of circumstance.

Another part of me sees the randomness of monkeys typing Shakespeare.

That we write and are written by our stories seems to ring true. So we might choose our “keystrokes” with an eye towards intention and compassion – I know I try to – with varied degrees of success.

Do our stories total a too brief glimmer in a lost corner of time? Probably so, and pretty much. (I also believe our actions ripple through the future beyond our own time.) Some ripples subtle some perhaps sublime.

But, at the end of our days we will pay the two bucks and exit the ride. And whether our days will have been, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” or not, I don’t much now, and probably won’t much then, know or care. But I myself am thankful and will be then. I will have enjoyed the show. I intend to have lived.

Having worked with the terminally ill and those who have suffered extreme loss I have always found that it wasn’t the sadness of their lives that was so upsetting, rather, it was the surrender of the joys of life and living.

This player, my character, intends to live life the best I can and to be the best I can not because I will be “rewarded” in either this life of an afterlife, rather, I make that my choice because I am alive now.

It seems to me that tough though it may be at times, we must read and write and give thanks for the poetry of our lives. And find the beauty heightened by the backdrop of it being ephemeral.

As a very wise man once asked me: “Would the sunset be as beautiful if it were always there?”

Happy Thanksgiving to all!