Musings from the nuthouse*
Love all of this!!! Being an outspoken free thinking individual who accepts or rejects attachment to cultural/social/political/ religious consensus requires one to be fearless in their own convictions and can sometimes feel like tilting at windmills (or put one in a nuthouse to use ur term). Fearlessness’ nemesis is safety and conformity which is convenient for the ruling class. You, Helen, like me are fearless in speaking your truth which often in my experience, shakes the ground we walk on. We don’t mince words but we love and revere them. They hold specific and powerful meaning. Gratitude is one of those words locked and loaded. These days it’s clear that words are being manipulated for a consensus or agendas. Ironically fear is being used to create that consensus. Notice how censorship is for our own safety! As you recover from grief which is the ultimate shakey ground, I hope and suspect you will return to full fearlessness and return home to your family and yourself good as new.
Many years ago, I wrestled with where to direct gratitude for what might be loosely called therapeutic/self improvement purposes. I am also an atheist but at one low ebb, toyed with the idea that perhaps I could invent an 'imaginary friend' as a placebo, figuring that was all any God could be anyway. Yet to know it's a placebo means it's no longer a placebo and who wants to get into that loop of self-delusion? Of course, as you have realised too, the answer is a little simpler; it is possible to be grateful without having someone or something to thank. Through your work and writing you have provided other people with reasons to be grateful that there is (somewhat ironically given the nature of this article) that there is sanity in the world after all. I am not saying that should be enough to dampen grief or lift you out of desperation, but just know that when you fully emerge from this, there will be people who are grateful that you did.
You almost seemed grateful for the dogs there.
Best of luck to you, Helen. Lots of bits here that have me thinking ... thank you!