This might be the obvious post for today seeing that it is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, but bear with me. I’ve been thinking about my reasons for a while and decided I needed to write them down today.
First, I’m thankful for writing because of the faith I follow. I wrote about why God says we should be thankful here. (http://thrivingingrace.com/thanksgiving/), but it’s not just because of what the Bible says that I say this. I found this quote by Anne Frank in Anne Frank’s Diary:The Graphic Adaptation by David Polonsky. “I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains. Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun, go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God. Think of the beauty that again and again discharges itself within and without you and be happy.” It’s easy to concentrate on the misery. Anne Frank could have. I do myself more than I should. But, when I go outside and especially when I write outside, I find I focus more on the reasons why I’m here, and the words come easily as I think about what I need to say.
I’m also thankful for writing because of the images that form in my head when I read the words on the page. There are so many lively and delightful words in the English language as E. E. Cummings says in the book E. E. Cummings by Susan Cheever. “I thank you God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of the trees and a blue dream of sky.” For me, the word “greenly” brings immediately to mind a bright, spring day. I’m sure we can all think of words that bring detailed images to our minds.
Another reason I’m thankful for writing is because it is done in solitude–I can see my own words on a page before anyone else can see them. I can reflect on the pain and happiness in my life by writing about it. I can also give thanks and pray as Victor Hugo says in his work Les Miserables. “To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.” It is such a lovely image for someone who needs solitude as I do.
I know this will seem diametrically opposite to what I just said, but I’m also thankful for writing because of my friends. While writing is done in solitude, writers could not make it without the support of their friends. Ralph Waldo Emerson said this in The Portable Emerson. “I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and new.” All of you who have supported me with likes and comments on this blog, on Facebook and Twitter, and even in person have made me more aware of the power of words and how they can change people’s lives. I am grateful for your support and for the lessons learned as I’ve continued to move forward on this journey.
Finally, I’m thankful for writing because it does have the power to change the world. The words William Faulkner wrote in The Essential Faulkner about gratitude have helped to reset my mind about the nature of gratitude. “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity; it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” So, on this Thanksgiving Day, I hope we can all remember to be grateful for everything we have, to help where we can, and to not judge others since we all have failed.