Hello again, dear friends! I’ve missed you. I’ve been locked in a room for several months chained to my computer, finishing my second book, which it took me 14 years to write and one year to edit. I finally looked up and saw Thanksgiving on the horizon. It’s time to return to the world of humanity.
For me, gratitude is not a Thanksgiving cliché, now replaced with Black Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is the essential remedy of the fear, frustration and confusion living in today’s world can cause on a daily basis. Gratitude and inspiration breed hope and courage; fear takes them away. So, here is a little dose of hope for the holidays.
1) I’m grateful for the French people– even in the wake of the latest round of devastating attacks on Paris– beautiful, proud, un- cowed.
The French response to the fact that one of the terrorists may have pretended to be a Syrian refugee? They not only upheld their commitment to said Syrian refugees, but also deepened that commitment.
The Parisian response to all- out brutality and hatred was not to hide in their homes, but to continue to enjoy the pleasures of their great city, and to live as only the French can. This people have always known exactly whom they are, and what they were made for, and fear will not change that. Their art, culture and joie de vivre have always inspired and served as a model for capturing the best of every moment. Now their strength, resolve and courage do so.
2) I ‘m grateful that there is always another source of inspiration just around the corner. The world is full of unsung heroes quietly living their lives.
Life is bewildering, frustrating, dangerous, and exhausting. Sometimes it makes me simultaneously frightened to death and of the frame of mind, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!
But, each of our lives is populated with people who help us and give us the love and courage to be exactly who we are. For every image that inspires fear, there are many more people that inspire faith, courage and admiration.
3) I’m thankful that I am still capable of being inspired by people.
4) I ‘m thankful for the movie, Field Of Dreams, and others like it dealing with faith in the unseen, in one’s self, and the Hero’s Journey. I ‘m thankful for that old Big Daddy Weave song called What I was Made For, which I play frequently when I’m in a funk, and the reminder it provides that I, like each and every one of us, was made by my creator for a specific purpose, and the spiritual journey I must make is finding what that purpose is, sometimes daily.
5) I am so fortunate and grateful that something like a movie, song, or book can live in me like a joyful virus for weeks and months, keeping me strong, and that there are others like me, discussing, forming book clubs, film clubs, artist groups and retreats and other homes away from home.
I get to catch inspiration, use it as fuel to create something from nothing, and hopefully once in a while, pass that inspiration on.
6) I ‘m grateful that there still are books and poetry in the world and that people still read them and love them passionately.
7) I’m doubly grateful that, after so many different directions, careers and mistakes, I am fairly certain my purpose is to create. This certainty stems from these wrong turns and course corrections, all of them essential to the process. It also arises from the fact that, at this point in my life, I can’t refrain or abstain from creating.
More people are writing books now, than there are people who still read. So what? I do this because it is what I was made for. A late bloomer still flowers:)
8) I’m thankful I have a dream. Bringing this dream into being usually makes me spring out of bed every day with excitement and optimism. At times, it prompts me to spring out of bed with cursing and wailing, but I am thankful that it will, in fact, be born in a few months, and the creative process never ends. It provides me with joy and strength and restores my faith and youth, when the world has worn me out.
9) I am thankful for the struggle. If it was easy, I would have no need for courage, perseverance, help, or the common sense to know I don’t know enough.
10) Mostly I’m grateful for the fact that God brought each of you into my life, as a continual source of inspiration. That makes me feel like the most fortunate person in the world. You are the unsung heroes I refer to in paragraph 2.
11) Oh, and coffee; I can’t forget coffee!
Without the wonderful aroma, the beautiful-bitter taste and the sizable jolt it provides, I’d never make it out of bed to ponder the imponderables, journey towards my purpose, or write or communicate anything intelligible to anyone. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks to each and every one of you!