Time and a Poem

Thanksgiving Day

It’s that time again
to decide whether I
follow convention and either list
all I am grateful for
or rail against the insincerity of those who do.

It’s that time again in our digital world
to be for or against
to be lightness and sweet
or be dark and despair.

Can I, this old analog man
who was taught to see the world’s continuum,
be allowed to see the world in all its shades?

Can I be allowed to say,
I am grateful for life, wife and love
but fear the world is spinning wrong?

The future looks bright
except for that dark cloud
that known point it time when…

At this happy time of family
friends and memories
allow me to simply say:
I am grateful for the life I have been given
until that day when I must give it back.


It’s one of those weeks where I struggle with time.  I wish I could do more, but I can’t.  There is a mixture of things I want to do, things I have to do and things I might do creating a frustration in my soul since I can’t get them all done.

If I were to list all my problems, this would become a very depressing post.  I guess it’s partly because of the time of year – the days are getting shorter, I leave work after dark and the cold is settling in.  I have a list of things to do: building things, writing things and taking care of needed things.  All are in conflict with each other it seems.

While my creative soul wishes to write and build, there is a part of my soul that wants to pull the drapes closed and light a fire in the hearth. Then put my feet up and read a book in the warmth of home – just be alive and breath.

I’ve tried, a little, to put the fuzzy slippers on and plop in front of the TV.  I managed a whole evening of it this week.  While I know I needed a bit of rest, I didn’t feel that rested afterwards – instead I felt that I spent two hours for nothing.  I wasn’t entertained or distracted and did not feel rested afterwards.  My brain kept going over my list: 18 poems for the book, a Sunday blog post, read that programming book for work, the storage unit, the lattice-work for the atrium, cleaning the shop, creating the new church website, my office is a mess, the kittens need tending, and oh no, next week is Thanksgiving.


Some times the question isn’t, “What am I going to do?” but rather it’s, “What I am not going to do?”  I need to say out loud – somethings aren’t getting done.  Some doors need to be closed.

Our society seems bent on not closing doors, after all you can be anything you want to be.  Right?  Sure.  I’d like to be an astronaut.  Can we make that happen?  How about a poet astronaut?  While waiting for the blast-off I’ll scribble little poems on my flight plan and I’ll become NASA’s poet laureate while flying too and from the moon.

Not realistic.  Interesting day-dream but not going to happen.  Keeping all our options open isn’t as freeing as we think.  Sometimes it leads to frustration as we don’t have the time to do it all or sometimes if we pick one thing, it naturally excludes something else.  If I decide to join the Democratic party I am automatically closing the door on being a Republican.  Perhaps that’s too simplistic, but you get the idea.

I’ve chosen to be a woodworker but I do know how to do metal work.  I have chosen to not have a metal workshop with welders, lathes, taps, dies, and the like because I’d rather focus my time on shaping wood.  I close the door in one place to allow time and energy to be spent where I want it – with the wood shop.

Well, what’s not going to get done is any more work on this essay.  I need to move on to my poetry.  Shop projects this week won’t get much time spent on them and sadly, my desk isn’t likely to get much cleaner this week.

But it is Thanksgiving week and we have family coming over so I just might close down this computer and lock the shop door.

Perhaps a pair of comfy slippers, a glass of wine and a feast with family and friends is the most important way to spend this week.

Till next week,
or perhaps the week after that,

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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4 Responses to Time and a Poem

  1. Susan says:

    That’s the problem with lists – they drive you forward or paralyze you! I’ve always kept them but not completed everything and so then I call myself a procrastinator. Sigh, lists are meant to organize but instead seem to highlight my shortcomings. I do not like them but darn it, I know I’ll continue to keep one…or two. Perhaps I’ll limit my list to 5 things or maybe 3…Oh forget it!
    Just have a Happy Thanksgiving Andrew,


  2. It sounds like a familiar problem, Andrew. You have a busy intelligent mind and know the difference between what is doable and what isn’t, so don’t worry about it. Close that door and enjoy the lighter part of life. It’ll energize you to take a break from the never ending lists of yours.


    • Andrew says:

      An all to familiar problem. Sometimes I think my problem is that I make to many todo lists – I have decided to not make a list of lists I keep…


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