A non-believer’s polyglot Thanksgiving

Dear “Lord,”

Thank you for this hot mess of a world, because it seems to be the only one available. Thank you also for hot yoga.

Merci beaucoup for the little things: the hot astringent tea, the morning silence at the kitchen table. For the ability to think and feel and to perceive the wonders of this plane of existence.

Baie dankie for not caring whether I believe in you or not, but instead acting like an affectionate ex, someone I could tell wasn’t right for me after a couple dates but who remembers me fondly.

Danke schoen for the magical arrangement of the atomic web that holds us together, for the zoom of particles, for the waves lighting up our lives. Thank you for miracles enough.

Fēicháng gǎnxiè nǐ for my friends. Solitude is only grand and nourishing when its alternative is readily available: quick laughter, hugs, jocular ribbing, nagging, nudging, conspiring, conversing, delighting, and all the other methods of human intercourse.

Grazie mille, great god of chance, for allowing me to live this long. For not running me over by a bus or subjecting me to any of the million modes of accidental death you keep up your sleeve like a joke. Thanks for allowing me to come into my own in my later years, to achieve something that occasionally feels like wisdom. For giving me eyes that still function, and ears, and all the other sense receptors.

Bol’shoye spasibo for my family, chosen and acquired and inherited. For a husband who has walked beside me despite my foolishness and for the children who came like lightning strikes and will leave just as suddenly.

Muchas gracias for giving me a place to live in relative peace and prosperity. For the ability to momentarily believe that this will go on forever, that nothing bad will happen to me or those I love. For the willful ignorance that is the only thing keeping us crossing the thin line into perpetual despair.

And mange tak for the little things: running water, central heating, clean-ish air, world literature, great universities, readers, robotics and those who study the drawbacks of robotics, clean socks, pens, Moleskine notebooks, and, of course, cats.

Dear whoever you are: may you also enjoy a day of thanksgiving, with time to contemplate your cosmic accomplishments and to giggle over this silly bag of atoms debating your existence, awash in the wonder of all that is.


Your fairly non-believing but eternally grateful human

13 thoughts on “A non-believer’s polyglot Thanksgiving

Add yours

  1. You achieved what for me is impossible. I’m thrilled by your amazing command of craft, but even more by your ability to think through this (to me) painful and difficult topic: how brightly our own small circle of light shines amidst all the ambient darkness. And is there anyone there, behind the light? Thank you, Audrey, for this piece!


  2. Nice! Happy TG day, Audrey! I am thankful for our weekly writing mornings, accountability partnership, creative ventures, and friendship! Also for the drinks I plied you with that helped lead to it all. 🥂 Lisa

    ____________________ Lisa Meltzer Penn lisa@pennultimate.net



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