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Thoughtful Thursday: Glass Half Full

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'thank you,' that would suffice." - Meister Eckhart

As Thanksgiving draws closer, so do personal dilemmas! Will I risk my good health and the health of another to fulfill my need for family, friends, traditions and a momentary sense of normalcy? This Thanksgiving may be the most important and significant Thanksgiving of our lives! When was the last time you were provided a stage on which to perform a selfless, noble act that gifts health, well-being, even life, potentially, to another?

It is when you feel hope, that you actually see and realize opportunity. This year we are challenged to forget what we give and focus upon what we have received. Many, if not most of us, have much to be thankful for this year. If you and yours have escaped, survived, and/or sustained the physical, financial and emotional ravages of this illness, say Thank You! As vaccines and enhanced treatments are proving successful in clinical trials and their roll-out to the public is now imminent; say Thank You! As individual states across our great nation plan how and to whom to roll-out the vaccines, say Thank You! If you have successfully negotiated a new platform for working and learning safely during this pandemic, say Thank You! If you have been fortunate enough to partake of some amazing take-out meals from your local restaurants and thereby supported small, local businesses, say Thank You! If you have spent more quality time in conversation and/or quiet with a partner, family member and friend, say Thank You! If you have been more disciplined about increasing your physical activity through walking, running or playing a sport, say Thank You! If you have made time to reach out to friends through telephone, text, Zoom and email, say Thank You! For those of you who took advantage of this extended time at home to adopt a pet or spend more time with your resident best friend, say Thank You! When empty aisles at the grocery store and well-stocked shelves full of toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and Clorox Wipes incite giddiness, say Thank You!

While more businesses are closing than opening in 2020, all is not lost. Homebound shoppers have given a banner year to the real estate market, makers of bicycles, exercise equipment and home appliances. Makers of puzzles, board games and gaming systems are experiencing a renaissance. Although resorts and vacation rentals are floundering, businesses supporting redecorating and home improvements are growing. We are covid-weary yet many of us may be reluctant to part with some of our interim fixes and “make do’s”. I like that fine dining is now a carry-out option and my home-based Happy Hours involve no designated driver! Our book club is flourishing in virtual mode and my grandson recognizes his grandmother’s face and voice on Duo each morning.

Opening an art gallery just as everything was shutting down last spring was scary, but what was unplanned has become our normal. A gallery is an escape room of sorts, in that it allows you to flee from what is pressuring you, limiting you, and even intimidating you. You can explore you with each work of art and as self-discovery is intensely personal and singular, a guest list of one may be perfect. The very behaviors exhibited in a gallery are those that would receive the CDC’s blessing. Galleries rarely have more than a few browsers at any one time, so social distancing is automatic. In the absence of face-to-face exhibitions and large gatherings, Les Poissons Gallery has developed a virtual platform coupled with private, scheduled showings and limited hours for the general public. The gallery is more than a safe place, it is a sanctuary brimming with beauty, peace and your undisclosed personal connections. All credit, appreciation and a resounding Thank You to our artists who continue to find inspiration and create splendor in what some see as a bleak landscape. It is their vision, manifested in their art, through which we see hope and a better tomorrow.

To experience and practice gratitude through art, please visit the gallery in Chestertown or .

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