on the path…with gratitude & thankfulness

One of my favorite bands is American Music Club. I’ve been listening to their music since 1993. ‘Big’ Will of Flinghammer, would play the CD “Mercury” incessantly at Bebop on Countyline Rd. This is Madison Mississippi by the way. I became hooked.
The first song on that cd is a slow 6/8. Open, vulnerable, haunting and beautiful.

The song is called “Gratitude Walks”

the chorus is “Gratitude walks on sixth street.”

A couple of weeks ago I went on a hike in the Angeles National Forest and Tim was playing this song in the car.

Somehow it took on an entirely new meaning for me. Or maybe I got it for the first time. I mean internally instead of just in my head.
As we drove up the mountains above the fog engulfed L.A. A cloudless blue sky and warm sun appeared. I scanned the view and listened deeply.

I began thinking back what I used to believe gratitude meant.

There was a time, I admit, I was grateful and thankful one day a year. Of course for standard reasons. It seems misdirected to me now:
To be out of school. To get to sleep in. To shop on black Friday.
Then I worked in music retail. I became so resentful having to work the day before and after Thanksgiving, it became difficult to be thankful for that 1 day.

I only knew what thankfulness tasted like; a 12 hour smoked Turkey with trytophan hangover.
The past 20 months have revealed a feeling place of true gratitude & thankfulness that have taken new meaning for me; feeling apologetic for my past insolence, and thankful to recognize thankfulness!

I’M THANKFUL FOR FORGIVENESS:September 29th I received an e-mail from Fellini’s Raincoat guitar player. Our friendship began to disengrate 10 years ago. We went 8 years without speaking. We had played together, 7 years in 2 different bands; AMC’s “Mercury” being part of the soundtrack for that time. A huge musical influence for both of us.

Since October, he and I have been e-mailing at least 2 or 3 times a week.

He and I have re-established our friendship in the most profound way.

It took a lot of honesty & forgiveness from both to do this. The unfolding was both exciting and terrifying.

What if I was rejected? What if I really burned the bridge to this friendship?

Both questions were put to rest quickly.

What we both realized is that all the meanness we performed in the past, the friendship has remained. Awakened out of an 8 year hibernation.
We are still writing about past stories because they need to have their place;but the point is we’re willing to explore and hit edges.
The miracle of e-mailhas given us a “real time” reminder of what forgiveness looks like.

Participating has helped me forgive myself for what I had done.

I’ve been told forgiveness helps the forgiver.

This time, as I listened to “gratitude walks” in Tim’s car; I understood this concept.
I felt a depth of gratitude for the act of forgiveness, and forgiving.

Depth that goes beyond words. It brought me to tears though.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Stephen A. Thomas

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