It seems to be a tradition to relate to others what you are thankful for on this day. At least it was so when my family gathered together before we grew up and scattered to distant points across the country. I think it a good tradition. The following are in the order they popped into my head.
White Crown Sparrows. I call them bicycle helmet sparrows, because the color pattern on their head appears to me as a bicycle helmet. They just have an indefinable quality that I love. Canyon Towhees, Juncos, Thrashers and Magpies tie for a close second.
Trump. Okay. I know this sounds odd coming from me, who thinks Trump is a horrible, terrible, very bad, wannabe-dictator president. But, his presidency has woken up the citizens of this country and caused earnest participation in our democracy. A democracy requires a civilized, non-violent revolution through the vote about every twenty to twenty-four years. I think we missed the revolution that should have happened in the 1990s. So, I am thankful citizens, no matter their party affiliation, are actively participating in our democracy.
72% Cacao Dark Chocolate. My desert of choice. Best served with a dark red wine—a good claret (as Rumpole of the Bailey use to say). Perfect to top off every meal of the day (without the claret at breakfast and lunch), if I can manage my self control to consume only 2 squares per meal.
Poetry. I know I have reported to you that I dropped out of the poetry community and doing public readings, etc., but I still love to write poetry and read poetry. Most of my poetry reading is of living poets. I never found the great-white-dead poets moving. Sorry Robby Burns. Sorry Tennyson. (I do own a leather bound edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass). The poetry I find most moving is living Native American poetry, with poetry written by women preferred over poetry by men. Anyways, poetry has been my creative expression vehicle for twenty-five years and has served me well by bringing me a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me.
L. L. Bean. This seems a bit commercial, but they are the clothing company that carries my size, large tall, on almost all of their clothing items. It is such a pleasure after years of wearing ill-fitting clothes to wear my size with proper sleeve length and fit around the shoulders and torso.
Dianne. I do not doubt that the women who shared my earlier, pre-Dianne life loved me, but Dianne’s manner of loving connects best with me—closest to my wave-length I think. Her love has given me a foundation to get unstuck from some stuck areas of my life and to be open to recognizing my faults and improving where it needed to take place. How can you not help but be thankful to the person who, out of love, allows you to grow into a better person. Smaller ego. Bigger heart.
Mountains. All my life I have loved being in mountains. In a primal sense, I feel safe in mountains. This is an important feeling if you consider the childhood traumas and adult traumas I have gone through. Wonderfully interesting how geography can give you a sense of safety. Technically, Albuquerque is in the Rio Grande river valley. But, Dianne and I live in the northeast heights, on the flanks of the Sandia Mountains. The foothills trailheads are a seven minute drive from the house. Twenty minutes of walking takes us past the line of sight of the city and beyond an acoustic barrier that blocks out the city sounds.
My Pen-Pal. Beth is my pen-pal (email pal). I never knew how great a long distance friendship could be. We made initial contact through a poetry project I produced a couple years back and traded books. The pen pal thing got going on its own. We met in person last year when I was on a trip that passed through her part of the country. What a great person. We are both poets. We both have our life struggles (who doesn’t). We are comfortable enough to share honestly about our lives, thus being able to tell our story which lightens life’s burdens. It is also good to share photos, too, which I could do on this blog, but for some unknown reason have not—maybe in the new year attached to a resolution.
That is my 2018 list. I am sure there is more than this, but that is all that popped from my mind as I sit in my favorite cafe (which should be on the list), typing this blog entry the day before Thanks Giving.
Remember to practice the Golden Rule every waking moment. Especially with that family member who has the polar opposite political point of view from yours.
Love & Light