The Table.

“Diningroom Table” 2015

Tables. They serve many functions, most recently as “catch-alls” for everything lacking its own place. Time was, they had a purpose.

Like the rest of the hundreds of thousands, all this week I’ve been scrolling. I’ve seen you. Many of us only now realize that presenting family photos reveals one thing: those who post them can, or need to, provide proof that they have families who agree to gather around a table – for Thanksgiving.

Agreeing to gather is the tradition. Most who do so across this wide swath of what remains of the actual United States rarely see each other during the year. Because the world has been flat for a good two decades or more, emotional bonding has taken on a different flavor. Those we still consider our closest by moniker see us either via Facetime or texted videos. The ones who’ve been in our lives the longest are now often the furthest away.

Many of those are even further away, emotionally. We have formed bonds with newer folk, those with whom we either work or live or, now, share a “bubble”. And, naturally, our emotional energy goes toward those who, in some small part, are available to meet needs we cannot meet for ourselves.

The self help gurus repeatedly intone: “Love yourself, first.” What does that mean? May be, given the looming need to eke out survival where we currently exist, we are compelled to find a way to live alone without allowing external forces to condemn us to it. That means being alone, and thriving.

How is that accomplished?

I’ve been shifting my focus. One guru has said to find one’s center, one’s actual physical center, and I think that is located somewhere near the heart and thymus. It’s a place to put our attention, our core.

Once there, with all mental and physical energy, no external forces — whether they be actual concrete gravitational pressures, or fleeting, dread filled thoughts — can survive against us. We are that one living being, life force emanating outward from our center. And, to my history, what I was taught to find there would be the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles of Jesus after the Son had ascended. Each saw a flame of fire over the other’s head. Paul said that Spirit would indwell each, to seal each according to the promise which would manifest in eternity.

I can’t defy such a Spirit. Nor can I prove any such Presence. But, I can lay hold of belief, both in that Spirit and in the manifestation of the Power greater than myself whenever I am alone, centered on my core. When in solitude, an inner knowledge that I did not myself either create or sustain overtakes me. I know with a kind of knowledge which comes into consciousness that I am not here of my own volition.

Gratitude comes next. Thankfulness, manifest in awareness. Being alive, feeling, hearing, touching, seeing, sensing as a human living in a body. At such a moment, there is no fear at all. There is a very quiet joy. Safety, in being, and being aware.

Choose to find yourself. Just you. In so doing, all expectations, conditions and even traditions will fall away. Because if we do not start with ourselves, what can we possibly bring to any table?






© 11/27/21 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. – All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Thank you. Originally published at

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