I figured that since I’d already opened the week talking about one tattoo of mine, I might as well close the week talking about another – this time the one on my shoulder. Also because the tattoo is the best way to start talking about the things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.
The words are from the poem “The Prayer” by Norman Corwin. It was only when looking up a link to the complete text for y’all that I realized Corwin died this year, so it seems even more appropriate to talk about his words this Thanksgiving.
“The Prayer” is a segment of On A Note of Triumph the radio play he wrote in May 1945. The full text of the poem can be found here (other Corwin works linked on that page too, including his amazing “This I Believe”) and it is the end of the poem that always resonates most firmly with me:
Post proofs that brotherhood is not so wild a dream as
those who profit by postponing it pretend:
Sit at the treaty table and convoy the hopes
of the little peoples through expected straits,
And press into the final seal a sign that peace will
come for longer than posterities can see ahead,
That man unto his fellow man shall be a friend forever.
And so the tattoo, not only a reminder of the grand vision for the world in the poem but a reminder to actually post proofs. To get off my tail and do something. To create tangible community, kindness, and other proofs. On this Thanksgiving it is all the various communities I’m part of, friends and family, that I’m most thankful for. Those are my bedrock proof, my hope is that as I and as we go through the rest of this life that will build upon that bedrock to post more and more proofs of that commonality and community.
I’m off to work for a while this morning and then down to South Carolina for a couple of days to break bread and visit with my family. However y’all chose to celebrate this Thanksgiving, I hope your table is full not just of food, but of memory and laughter and friends and family and proofs.