Taking “Q” Things With Gratitude

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

For the rest of November, I’m going to take with gratitude some of those things I often take for granted — an entire alphabet’s worth! Since today is the seventeenth day of this surge of gratitude, I am giving thanks for “Q” things.

I am especially grateful for:

Questions. As a species, we have inquiring minds. We want to learn, to know. And so we ask questions, sometimes of ourselves, sometimes of others, and nowadays, sometimes from search engines. We take these questions for granted simply because we have always questioned. We wonder where we come from, why we are here, the purpose of our lives, and how to create meaning. When something goes wrong, such as the death of a loved one, that questioning spirit goes into overdrive. Even when we find no answers to our questions, we continue our quest. It’s who we are. When we stop questioning, that’s when we need to begin to worry. So today, I will give thanks for all the questions I’ve been asking lately — they prove to me that I am alive even if I don’t know why.

Qublack catantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics teaches us that there are no set answers to our questions. Things change depending on how we view them and even if we view them. If we don’t view things, perhaps they don’t happen, but exist forever as a possibility. This could be the answer to the enigmatic question, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound?” According to quantum physics, if no one is around to observe, the tree doesn’t fall but exists only as a possibility of either falling or remaining rooted. Ah the delights of such thought experiments! I don’t think anyone takes quantum mechanics for granted, not even those physicists whose lives are steeped in such esoteric experiments. And except for those same physicists who make a living off quantum mechanics, I doubt anyone gives thanks for quantum theory, but today I will be thankful for such a mind bender.

Quirks and quixoticisms. We all have our quirks and strangely idealistic moments. Even as we rail against these peculiarities in others, we take them for granted in ourselves. But quirks and quixoticisms are things to be taken with gratitude — they make us the unique people we are.

So, what “Q” things are you taking for gratitude today?


See also:
Taking “A” Things With Gratitude, Taking “B” Things With Gratitude, Taking “C” Things With Gratitude,Taking “D” Things With Gratitude, Taking “E” Things With Gratitude, Taking “F” Things With Gratitude, Taking “G” Things With Gratitude, Taking “H” Things With Gratitude, Taking “I” Things With Gratitude, Taking “J” Things With Gratitude,Taking “K” Things With Gratitude, Taking “L” Things With Gratitude, Taking “M” Things With Gratitude, Taking “N” Things With Gratitude, Taking “O” Things With Gratitude


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Ten Things I Know to Be Absolutely Certain

Every time I publish a new post to this blog, I get suggestions for topics from WordPress. One such topic — ten things I know to be absolutely certain — caught my attention several days ago, so I started making a list. This is as far as I got:


For a week now, that list has been sitting by the side of my computer. I can’t think of a single thing I know for absolutely certain.

I used to be enamored with particle physics and quantum physics. I loved that everything could be broken down into smaller and smaller particles, until you ended up with a particle that acted like a wave or a wave that acted like a particle or some such, and then if you broke that wave/particle down into further components, you ended up with . . . nothing. Which to me means that the universe was created out of nothing, not just way at the beginning with what some people call the big bang, but that every single day the universe creates itself out of nothing. So how can one be certain of anything when nothing exists? Whether any of this is true or simply my own bizarre extension of an already bizarre idea, I have no way of knowing, let alone knowing to an absolute certainty.

I’m sitting here at my computer, with my elbows on the table, wondering if there is a certainty about that, but since all solid matter is mostly air — the particles that create the atoms that create the molecules that create the table are so far apart as to be bits of dust floating in empty space. Yet somehow my brain translates those particles into the table and my computer. At least I think it’s my brain that does it; I don’t know. I can only assume I have a brain. I have never seen it. I think and feel, but perhaps those thoughts and feelings don’t exist either — they could be brain blips, things my brain tells me are real for its own nefarious reasons.

And what about me? Do I exist? I listened to a pod cast the other night where a biologist explained his theory that what differentiates us one from the other is not our brain or a soul somewhere deep inside, but something from without. Eternal energy, perhaps. Specific rays of energy that are beamed into our body/minds like television signals into a television channel. A fascinating idea, but it’s only that — an idea. Not something anyone knows for certain.

I took a walk in the desert today. I could feel the warm air, smell the drying cresote bushes, hear the ravens overhead, feel the ground beneath my feet. For a moment or two I was not a separate being walking in the desert — I was connected to it in so many ways that it seemed we were a single entity: desert/woman. And that could be the truth — our bodies do not end in a hard barrier but extend beyond our cells to where there is an overlap with our environment — with something that is not us. Or maybe it is us. Maybe we are everything and everything is us.

Okay — now I know one thing for absolutely certain. I spend too much time alone walking in the desert. Where else would such mystic ideas come from?