11 November 2007

All The Rest Is Gravy

All too often in life we forget to be grateful for the extras handed to us on a silver platter. Once you pass "enough" everything else is gravy. Once each year in Judaism you honor this principle at Passover where one of the central songs to the wonderful meal is the singing of the fifteen stanzas of Dayenu "Enough For Us" thanking God for all the miracles performed but acknowledging that the act of creation was "Dayenu"

We all like to be happy. We prefer it when life runs smoothly and the bumps in the road are eliminated beneath our feet. When horrid things happen (and they will at some point to almost everyone) we can get tangled in the loss, anger or grief totally forgetting just how wonderful it is to simply exist.

There is a poem written by a man who was a alcoholic in his tenth year of recovery. My father passed away quite soon after his tenth "birthday" with AA so Raymond Carver's poem strikes close to home about what it means to enjoy the "gravy".


No other word will do. For that's what it was. Gravy.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that it was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. Don't weep for me,
he said to his friends. "I'm a lucky man.
I've had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure gravy. And don't forget it."

Raymond Carver

It doesn't matter what you are facing. The doctor has issued some point on the calendar, the husband has wandered, the children have done something that produces terror, the bills are coming due and the income doesn't quite match the need .... Dayenu .... You are here and just being alive is "Enough" to see you through. Chin up, look to the rainbow, be brave .... all the bromides that are really, really true. It's all gravy.


Ian Thomas Healy said...

That's a wonderful way of looking at life. Happy MM!


tegdirb92 said...

That last paragraph was great!! I really need it too today, thank you. Have a great Monday.

Deb said...

Ugh Monday Monday! Not too bad. I didnt post My ” Manic Monday gravy post”. I have laundry to do , but Im stuck at the PTA basekt bingo ticket table tomorrow morning!

Hope you had a great weekend, and have a good week! Come stop by my blog for Tackle Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Thursday Thursday, and Freaky Friday!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Very well done as always. Have a great MM. :)

crazy working mom said...

I love it! :)

Happy Gravy...errr ummm, Manic Monday.

Shelia said...

Great post! Happy MM!

Stine said...

Wonderful post to put things in perspective.

Mags said...

A fantastic reminder about giving thanks...happy MM

Sosunaolata said...

Great post! Have a great day!

Turnbaby said...

Awesome post. Thank you for bringing such neat substance to the gravy.

Alice - I Was Born2Cree8 said...

I really enjoyed this post, Jamie. Very well done. I also really like that poem. He is so right, everything is gravy. Thanks for sharing the poem and the info about Dayenu with us. Happy MM.

Reba @ Reba's Run said...

Whoof!! Thanks for visiting me and for putting the "animals rescue site" button on your blog so you can join me in a daily click. A big face lick to you.

Also, I love your MM 'bout gravy. mmmmm. I likes gravy.

the word verification is: wagfizla
I know what a wag, but what's a fizla? If it's an extra happy wag, or a wagging party, then I'm all for it. wagfizla to you!

Sarge Charlie said...

gravy is my friend

Travis said...

I haven't gotten to "enough" yet.

More gravy please!!

Happy MM!

Dessays said...

I very much enjoyed reading this post. What a wonderful reminder about being thankful for all we have and that there really is enough for everyone if we share! Plus, an important message about not taking life for granted.
Thank you for sharing.

Linda said...

I would like to nominate this post as the best post in the Manic Monday "Gravy" series even without reading all of the others because this is one fantastic post! Fantastic!!

Thank you for this reminder of what's really important in life.

Mo said...

Hi Jamie,
Sorry I am so late in commenting.
I appreciate the sentiments in your gravy post - I'm trying to get to the point where things are gravy again.
Right now I'm more like being drowned in a wet mass of glop that isn't good gravy, if that makes any sense.
Thanks for being a friend.
I shall try to be a better one.

the teach said...

How in the world did I miss your post, Jamie? Dayenu, yes. Thanks for a beautiful post, thought-provoking and very helpful.