Thanks, everybody, for your comments on Small Graces. I have learned a great deal. It seems that one of the key notions that keeps surfacing is “gratitude.” I never thought “gratitude” was a central theme of the book, but as I reread it I see that there is a constant attitude of thankfulness at its heart. This makes sense, and, more than that, it illuminates something fundamental for me.
I am not, never have been, and never will be a New Age writer. I have no illusions about perfectability of either individual lives or the species itself. I have no belief in infinite abundance, no belief in the self as the only, or even the primary, concern of a life well-examined and a life well-lived. We are, I believe, our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and what happens to the least of us happens to us all. We are here to serve — nothing more, nothing less.
But I do brush shoulders with the New Agers at the point of an affirmation of life. I am deeply grateful for the gift of being alive, being able to serve, being able to be part of this crazy, poignant, messy, and miraculous thing called “life.” It is a gift that never ceases to metaphorically, and sometimes physically, put me on my knees at the wonder of it all.
When I asked for help understanding Small Graces, I did not expect that this constant attitude of wonder and gratitude would even be part of the equation. Now I see that it is. It is the place of affirmation in a heart that sees the world in a minor key. It is the place of quietude in a spirit that is otherwise turbulent.
I hope you will all keep writing your thoughts on Small Graces. You are giving me a great gift by reflecting my own work back to me. You may see your thoughts as simple and obvious, but to me they are revelations.
Please keep them coming. I appreciate each and every one of you who writes. We are, after all, a kind of family — kindred hearts trying to articulate our understanding of the world and working in our individual ways to make life better for those around us.