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Thous in my Pockets like Grains of Sand

I have been getting  emails about Thous.  “Some Friendly Thous.” “Put A Few Thous In Your Pockets.”

I retain a curiously childish literality with language and with thought.  I don’t know if this is good or bad.  I tend to cast everything into my Own Good Universe, where everyone is working on the big questions:  what is the meaning of life?  How can we save the world?  How can we change things so that everyone can afford to be nice?  

For instance, when the song “How Long Has This Been Going On” came out in the sixties (or was it the seventies?) I grooved along thinking that it had to do with everyone wondering (as certainly everyone must) how long everything had been going on:  phenomena.  Consciousness.  Time.  Us.  Instead, imagine my realization, MANY years later, that it had to do with infidelity.  At least, that’s one interpretation.   I had not even glimpsed that possibility. 

I consider this unabashed positivity to be a form of stupidity.  I don’t see what is really happening; I merely imagine what it ought to be and snap every image, every word, every situation, into this larger picture.  Sometimes the thought-results are funny, the same way that puns can be funny.  Sometimes they are sad, as in, how could you be so clueless?  Sometimes it leads to the unexpected juxtapositions that lead to poems, stories, novels, paintings: what I do, for which a certain slantwise awareness is necessary. 

So when I began getting emails about the Thous, without skipping a beat I thought that these were from a religious or philosophical or pretending-to-be-thus-for profit organization.  I thought of I and Thou, the famous book by Martin Buber that figured large in my philosophy and religion and history background.  I figured that it had something to do with addressing/considering the world and others in a sacred manner, as in Buddhism.  If you are used to trying on different castes of mind, as you must do when you study philosophy (or philosophies; they all have brand names), this sort of thinking comes naturally.  Certain religions consider the phenomenological world as being evil, or a veil covering reality (not necessarily the same thing); in other religions, we are constantly surrounded by God, or Infinity, or the numinous.  Reading any philosopher at length can put you in a decided state of mind; you consider, mentally, what it would be like to consider the chair across the room as Plato or Kant or Heidegger would have.  It is a different object when seen through each differing lens.  During the Middle Ages in Europe, politics, religion, and history were deeply entwined.  This lessened during the Enlightenment, but seems to be the basic human situation, a biological manifestation of our deepest nature, just like a dog having a keen sense of smell or a bird navigating thousands of miles using a sense that uses magnistism.  I don’t think it is a whole lot different now in most of the world; perhaps not even in my immediate world, as it would probably be something as transparent as air to me.   

It took a day or two to realize that Thous was an abbreviation for Thousands.  This was not an issue I was contemplating in any deep way, mind you; these were just brief email spatters among the hundreds of emails I get every day, and I never opened them.  Instead, I thought how nice it would be to have a lot of Thous in my pockets, like positive wishes that might rise out of my pockets and burst, like thin bubbles, against the minds of others, or my own mind, reminding us of the beauty and the terrible briefness and the wonder of even exisiting at all.  I liked those Thous.  It really took only a second’s attention to figure out what they really were, all these Thous being flung about so promiscuously.

So when I see those continuing email headers, despite my new loss of innocence, I still persist in thinking them wonderful. 

I hereby give Thee thousands of Thous to distribute among family, friends, and complete strangers.  I imagine them (right this minute) as seeds you can broadcast, but they can assume any form you like.  Take them.  They’re free!

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