Wrote this in a summer 2015 workshop led by the wonderful Justen Ahren, in an exercise that was inviting us to see how gratitude can lead us into our writing.
Thank you for Crofter’s Super Fruit, thank you for Rudi’s Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin bread. Really. Thank you, the people who made this bread, the people — who were you? where were you? — who picked the grapes…where did you grow, sweet grapes — what sunny hillside made your home, what lovely leaves waving in the sun, shading you, blessing you, where was your home, your vines in crumbling earth, brown hands caressing you? I hope, I hope those hands were loved, not for me, not for my need, not for the need of my stomach to receive grapes that grew under the touch of hands that were loved, but for those hands, I hope they were loved and blessed.
Thank you for my bread. Thank you for the job that pays me more than a living wage that allows me to buy the bread. Thank you for the people who order the bread, for the people who drive the trucks that deliver the bread to the market. Thank you to the people who stock the shelves, the people who make the freezers that store the bread. And while I’m at it, thank you to the clever people who invented the freezers whose lights turn on as I walk past, those good souls who, in their place in this technology obsessed capitalist society, are at least trying to do something to conserve energy. God bless you, supermarket frozen food inventors.
Thank you for this house, these cushions Thank you for this time. Thank you, invisible spirits and forgotten teachers and remembered teachers for getting me to this moment, this place, this today. Morse, I am still here, still writing, still reading. I wish you were here to talk about Henry James.
Thank you for today. Thank you for the Grapevine. The one in the Santa Monica mountains. Thank you for sunshine, and hope and the scent of scrub pines and the path by Great Pond.
Thank you for letting me ride this wave of beauty, this flight from supermarket aisles to mountains. Thank you for bicycles and baskets on bicycles that hold groceries. Thank you bare legs and flip flops and friendly tourists who ask me for directions because, “You look like you live here.”
Thank you for a living body that knows how to heal. Thank you for every freedom I’ve ever received. Thank you for today. Thank you for 1st grade and learning to read and learning to write. Thank you for getting me past the fear of learning cursive. Thank you for getting me past the fear of learning to tie my shoes. Thank you for the concrete step from the garage to the laundry.
Thank you for time, for breath, for memory, for the pine tree in the front yard.
Thank you for letting go. Thank you for swimming lessons. Thank you for the very beginning of getting out of my own way, for the very beginning of dropping the burden of the Big I. For the beginning of laughter, for the slight, not so slight awe of letting everything pour through me.
Thank you for starting again.
Thank you for ink and graphite and books and ideas.
Thank you for birdsong.