When you get a book, what's the first thing you read? The front cover raves? back cover blurbs? dedication?
I go straight to the Acknowledgements. This section, usually situated in the front of the book, often reveals an author's history and demeanor. Here, in many cases, is a listing of previous publications, writing group membership, fellowships earned, workshops attended, and even endearments.
Some writers maintain a distance, providing a straightforward accounting of publications in which the works first appeared. Others, like my friend who after 40 years of writing published her first book, gushed for two pages (in small type), reaching back to thank her grade school teachers.
I am intrigued with a writer's narrative, the thread of gratitude that chronicles a creative life.
The other day, on a long drive, I reached that trance-like state in which thoughts expand and unwind. What, I wondered, if I wrote my acknowledgements right now? What would my page include?
As I examined the turning points in my life — first job, influential teacher, kind doctor, family friend — I found a thread of people who had widened my path, lightened my heart, and energized my steps. My first "real" job, for example, offered a mentor, who later became a colleague, and 20 years later is my very good friend. And then there's the volunteer work writing with teens that stretched my heart and changed my life.
It's a great exercise, to find the thread of people and places that have pebbled your path. My Acknowledgements page grows each day, and I am flush with gratitude.
It's Thankful Thursday! Gratitude. Appreciation. Praise. Please join me in a weekly pause to appreciate the people, places & things that bring joy. What are you thankful for today?