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Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks for chaos and logos
and implicate order;
for dark matter, bright galaxies,
and nonlocal connections; for crystals and continents;
for Lucy’s skull and Mary Leakey’s
footprints in volcanic ash; for Thales’ water,
Heraclitus’ fire, and Pythagorean forms; for the
Indian zero, algebra, and algorithms; for the
oscillations of the Yin and the Yang; for
acupuncture, Su Sung’s astronomical clock, and
Huang Tao P’i’s textile technology; for Arabic
alchemists on the Old Silk Road and Ibn Sina’s
Canon of Medicine; for Euclid and Newton and "God
playing dice"; for Kepler’s snowflake and Kekule’s
dream; for Mendel’s monastery peas and the genetic
Tetragrammaton on the spiral staircase of life;
for fractals, ferns and fall foliage; for
caterpillars and cocoons; for the infant’s first cry;
for Pachebel’s canon; for stained glass windows,
Leeuwenhoek’s microscope, and the Galileo
probe; for the World Wide Web to help us become
conscious of cosmic interconnectedness; but most
of all, let us give thanks for the twin passions
which make us fully human–the yearning to
transcend the boundaries of time and space by
learning and by loving.

Invocation, by Ingrid Shafer
For the opening of the Oklahoma Academy of Science on 7 November 1997

A friend emailed the piece to me several years ago. I wanted to link to it, but couldn’t find a copy of it on the web, so I made one (with Dr. Shafer’s permission, of course). Today seems a good time to move it from the old version of my site into WordPress.