Unusual Gratitude {poetry prompt}

Sometimes life throws a big curve ball, and I'm left with few words. I cannot express well the grief process except to say that it is long and grueling and there is little comfort. But there can be solace in prayer and in the midst of prayer the grace is given to look up. Not look up as in a mere "chin up; things are bound to get better," but a look up as in "there is One who is bigger than all of this" and I know I am held.

Today is Thursday. The last thing I thought I could do was put together a blog post that made any sense. But Thursday is poetry prompt day. A day when I invite others into this process of self-expression with imagery. A perfect day for when the words are too many or too hurtful or too meaningless when arranged in prose. Poetry can bridge the gap between feelings and words, and come out in a way that is safe and healing. That is what I want to create space for today.

Prompt: Unusual Gratitude

Wait. What is that?!

It's easy to say I'm thankful for the sunshine, the flowers, the good food, the friendship. But how much talk is there about the uncomfortable things in our lives that can point the way to goodness? Unusual gratitude means look at something you would not normally think to be grateful for and see what you can draw from it. Find something that may not "seem" beautiful, but there's a way to look at it with gratitude and write about it.

Let's brainstorm: It might help if you begin with "I am grateful for..." and fill in your unusual gratitude statement, explaining why. Write four to six statements this way and you'll soon have yourself a poem. Arrange it in any order or form you would like.

1. Think of a list of 5 or 6 unusual things you can be grateful for.

2. Using an "I am grateful" statement, explain what you are grateful for and why.

3. Arrange your lines according to preference. Put your own touches on it. Prompts are meant to inspire, not to encourage conformity. ;)

4. Stick with first draft. This is about practice, stretching our poetic thinking, and letting our creativity out to play. It's an exercise; not a test. No judgment; only another step in the journey.


Unusual Gratitude

I am grateful for a chill in my feet,

reminding me that my body

is good at delivering messages.

I am grateful for an ache in my heart

that tells me I feel things deeply

and love without reserve.

I am grateful for my lack of material wealth

that taught me to be creative, determined,

and accept loving gifts from others.

I am grateful for toys scattered across our floors,

for it means my children are healthy

and know how to live fully.

I am grateful that dishes, dinner, sweeping, vacuuming

are always calling my name, because it means I have

a home to care for and bring peace into.

For all the unusual ways to find gratitude in my life,

I now give wondering thanks.

Jamie Bagley