My Gratitude

a gratitude journal and pen
Every Shabbat
I attend services
and almost every single time
we are asked by the rabbi,
what are you grateful for?
(a reasonable question)
And a long list from the congregation rolls out
of family members
and pets
and jobs and vacations
and operations and recoveries
and clergy and social justice leaders
and battles fought and won.
I am also grateful
ror the usual stuff
I hate this question.
I really hate this question.
I am annoyed not grateful.
I am annoyed and not grateful on a daily basis,
I am annoyed and not grateful when I wake up in the morning
and annoyed and not grateful when I go to sleep at night.
This world is a terrible, cruel and stupid place and
I am angry!
Modeh Ani? Hell no.
Bedtime Shma? I forgive no one!
I am angry
and disputatious
and frustrated
but the people who deserve my anger and resistance
do not know or care that I exist!
I want it all to go away
and I’m ashamed at how little effort it takes
to ignore the unpleasant
and do nothing.
I’m so angry at myself.
So, no gratitude today from me.
And anyway,
the things that I am grateful for
that you are so curious about,
why do I have to announce them?
You want me to spread my gratitude all around like manure
in this garden of good vibes?
And please, don’t tell me yours,
I am neither interested nor moved by your gratitude!
Except of course I am,
because I love you and
I like it when people are happy.
And I like it when people share their happiness,
but not on demand!
And not every week.
not now,
not this week.
My gratitude is not for tourists.
Holy Wholeness,
thank you for listening.
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