• Bill Stauffer

Gratitude Friday - November 27th, 2020



“And Lot's wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five


This gratitude Friday morning, I stumbled upon a few stories about trench cellos. They were essentially fold up boxes with attachable strings but they sounded wonderful. I was reflecting on Thanksgiving and how we are celebrating this week even as disease, economic difficulties and hardship settle in for so many of our brother and sisters across this great nation. These are hard and painful times for many Americans and I don’t think we should fail to acknowledge this. I was thinking about how people celebrate their humanity and companionship under difficult circumstances. As is usually the case for me, I started googling history and how soldiers sung in the trenches during WWI just over one hundred years ago. I quickly ran across articles about these fold up cellos that men used to gather around to hear beautiful music (one attached here with a recording of music played on one). The slaughterhouse five quote fits as Vonnegut wrote it autobiographically as a prisoner of war in Dresden Germany facing death daily as bombs rained down on the city and the next day was an uncertain possibility.


We can be at our very best when times are hard. History shows us this.


Grateful for the best qualities of humanity this gratitude Friday, which often shine most fiercely in the darkest of times. May we each get in touch with our own humanity and dare to show our very best qualities during these uncertain times. Grateful this morning to be able to reflect on how we can do beautiful things even under the most difficult of times. Grateful for all of my friends out their trying to save lives in the medical and human service professions even as they develop internal wounds from the trauma of it all. Grateful for each and every one of you out there who are so brave to risk a piece of yourself to help another human in need or to express your humanity even in perilous times such as these. We shall play our trench cellos and support each other and with any luck, come out of the other side more in touch with what really matters, love, music, art and taking care of one and other.


What are you grateful for today?


Link to article and audio of cello HERE

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