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FOR MY SHREDDER AND ALL GOD'S MERCIES, NUN DANKET
November 25, 2004
 
These are the times that try Q's soul: almost every time he opens the front door to get the paper he is faced with a chest-high stack of shipping cartons. My Christmas shopping worries him -- he fears I may tend toward impulsivity at times. This is a little like suspecting that the Pope may be Catholic.

Of course, it's not all shopping. The Geranium Farm's bookstore is here,
too, and receives frequent deliveries of books. And yesterday the Farm received something else: a document shredder.

I have wanted one for a while -- shredded papers takes up much less room that crumpled pages, and you can put it in the compost pile: after all, isn't paper really just plants in another form? My office wastebasket fills to overflowing every day.

And shredding things is such fun. You guide a sheet of paper through the slot and the thing whirrs to life, gobbling as fast as it can, and what was a sheet of paper becomes a little heap of thin strips. I shredded things for along time last night after Q went to bed. I looked for things to shred; I would have shredded my birth certificate. Stop me before I shred again, I said to myself, and then I went to bed. Thanksgiving would be a busy day

Thanksgiving! Oh, happy day! Joyous Thanksgiving to everyone: people eating by themselves in diners, people dining with strangers in soup kitchens, people in gorgeous dining rooms, eating from heirloom china and fine silver, people in farmhouses and people in walkup apartments. A blessed Thanksgiving to new citizens of this blessed land, so beloved of us all, those of us who fear for its fidelity and those who rest easy. A blessed day to those who haven't quite gotten it together yet. Blessings and comfort to those who are worried about their jobs, about their credit card debt, about their parents, about their children. Take the day off from your worries. They will all still be here tomorrow, and maybe you can do something about some of them.

And be thankful. If it's bad, thank God it's not worse. If there is any good, magnify it today. There will be other days. At least we're all still here.

I thank God for my new shredder, my current favorite thing, the latest favorite thing in a long line of favorite things. I feed one more piece into the slot -- a used envelope. The waste of the days, changed from mute witnesses of undone tasks into something like confetti, something like what falls from the skyscrapers of Lower Broadway like a heavy snow when there is a ticker tape parade. Something a person could toss into the air to celebrate. And then compost: send it back into the soil of life, to nourish the tasks at hand.
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