Thursday, November 26, 2009
MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR
It's almost noon on Thanksgiving Day where I live (in an eastern state of the USA). It's that time when we start to get really sentimental. At least I do and, at this time of year, I don't feel that I have to apologize for it. In the US, Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season with a day devoted to sharing a meal with the people we love most. It's unique in that its main purpose is to say out loud how thankful we are for the things we take for granted most of the time.
Like a lot of people, the things I'm most thankful for are the things I take most for granted: my family, friends, good health, a comfortable home, plenty to eat. During this season, and particularly on this day, I actually express my gratitude. Part of that gratitude means I remember and acknowledge that the majority of people on this planet do not share these blessings. That I am thankful for my good fortune is a given. It is also a given that I hope some day, somehow, it will be available to everyone.
On a more personal level, I remember that, in addition to the obvious blessings, there is another whole tier of bounty. I am truly grateful that I have a voice as a writer and that I live in a country and a culture that allows, even encourages, me to say what I want through my writing. I'm grateful that Avalon Books exists and that they want to publish the kind of books I want to write. I know plenty of immensely talented writers who have not (at least not yet) found that outlet. The fact that Avalon sells directly is libraries is an added bonus. Even the fact that libraries exist and that I have easy access to a wonderful one is something to be thankful for. These precious institutions have always held a special place in my heart. I love being within their walls, walking through the shelves that hold the books of writers I admire so much and, perhaps even more, the challenge of exploring the works of writers with whom I am not yet familiar.
Another blessing I take for granted most of the time is this blog and the whole world of the Internet, which allows people to communicate freely beyond distances that until recently made contact impossible except to a privileged few. Through this medium, I've met (well, sort of) people from places that I will probably never be able to visit and I've been exposed to thoughts that have opened whole new realms of ideas for me. Even beyond all this, who knows what the future holds? More blessings? More challenges? Surely, yes to both - and, I am confident, by wise use of the communication avenues that increase almost daily, we will find ways to make the first outweigh the second.
Happy Holidays all - whatever holidays you may celebrate!