Thanks and Violence

At the tail end of Friday night’s Violent Roundtable on the Matt Allen Show (the podcast of which may be found here), Matt asked Andrew, Marc, and I what we’re thankful for. I’ve always found that to be a tough question, binding me up in considerations of appropriate pithiness.
Back during the dark days of my early adulthood, I’d have probably tossed out some heavy sarcasm phrased as levity — that red M&Ms had reemerged, or something — meant to imply that I found very little worthy of gratitude. A dumb, pitiful mindset, that was.
My difficulty now is quite the opposite. What am I thankful for? Well, literally everything. Sure, some items on that extensive list I include grudgingly; it’s difficult to be jubilant about, say, the periodic sharp pains that accompany standing when I’ve been working low to the ground, but there they are, and truth be told, I’m thankful for the reminder that I’m aging, that I’m active, and that physical reality does place boundaries on the ability to contort one’s body so as to swing a hammer with the correct velocity while crawling around in dust from a 150-year-old wall. And yet, that dust (whatever else it introduces to my body) brings odors rich with memory and imaginings. If it appears that thankfulness requires contradiction, well then, I’m thankful for the faith that the appearance is deceiving and the challenge of sorting through to the underlying truth.
Yes, yes, “everything” includes in large supply of all those aspects of life for which it is easy to be thankful. Family, friends, food, conversation. And certainly, there are changes to my current circumstances that I’d welcome with boundless enthusiasm… even as I give thanks for having had the experiences from which I’d emerged.
You can see why I hesitated before offering a “ditto” to the others’ replies to Matt. I’ll say this, though: I’m grateful that the final moments of the show were not indicative of our performance throughout, which I’d suggest is worth a listen.

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