Turkey: A large bird whose flesh, when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude.” – Ambrose Bierce
Tomorrow’s the big day here in the states: the day we divulge in complete and total gluttony as we pay homage to the first Thanksgiving feast between the pilgrims and the Indians. Yes, the Native Americans gave us the gift of produce and, in return, we gave them smallpox. And then we took their land. This is pretty much my favorite holiday.
So, if I may, I would like to take just a few lines to express my thankfulness. (And you don’t have to be from the states to join in on the piety and gratitude! Anyone can be thankful, any day of the year.)
So, here it is: 5 things I am thankful for as a writer. Ahem.
1. My eyes: I am thankful I can see this amazing world, because I know no matter how hard I try, I can never capture the beauty of a mountain or the splendor of a sunrise in words. I am thankful for my vision; so many can not see.
2. My literacy: I am thankful I can read. As I watch my kindergartner begin to spell and to comprehend words on a page, I am amazed at the world that is opening up to him. On a related note, I am distressed that he will soon find out I’ve been lying about candy bars being just for adults (see- it says so right here on the label. Oh that’s right- you can’t read yet!) I take my literacy for granted. I am thankful I can read; so many never had an opportunity to learn.
3. Libraries: I’m thankful for those noble storehouses of literature, old and new. It was in a library that I, without help from my parents, discovered the type of stories I liked to read. I’m thankful the country I live in has a library in nearly every town; many countries have so few books.
4. Long lines: Writers can even be thankful for long lines. While my family waits in line for the rollercoaster, I sit on a bench in the sun and read a book. Lines are great for people watching, eavesdropping, striking up a conversation with an 80-year old grandmother of 13, or browsing the National Enquirer displayed prominently in the grocer aisle. (Is there a better place to find inspiration for a riveting story?) While others stand impatiently, I can bide my time standing in line as an integral part of my writing passion.
5. Community: I am thankful that I have found, among friends, relatives, and even here online, a faithful and supportive writing community. In a seemingly cutthroat business, it boggles the mind how kind and encouraging fellow writers, editors, and even publishers can be. The negative remark or snide comment is, thankfully, a rare occurrence. Writing, a seemingly insular activity, has become a great way to make the very best of friends. I am thankful for my writing pals.
What are you, as a writer, thankful for?