It's Thankful Thursday. Please join me in a weekly pause to appreciate people, places, things & more.
This week I'm thankful for the small things (weather, letters, poems) that help me feel gratitude for the big things (love, learning, sincerity):
A Letter Love Story
A woman tells me she met her husband through writing letters.
The two lived in separate states, had mutual friends, and courted by mail — long, hand-written letters that offered kindness, humor, and truth (I'm fat, she wrote. I don't like bars or church, he wrote). Two months in, they were engaged, having never met or talked on the phone. A month later they married. They've been happily wed for 45 years.
Poem By Chance
The list of books I want to read is long but sometimes a chance encounter jumps to the top. At the library I was looking for a chair and found a book of poems instead: Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting. I thought it was a book of heartbreak though letters (and that combo is sure to reel me in). But this was better: a collection of powerfully restrained poems from Kevin Powers, an Iraq War veteran. Here's an excerpt from the opening poem, Customs:
We passed the welcome sign
five miles ago. Another crossing
missed. On some naked mountainside
a small signal fire is lit. I can tell you exactly
what I mean. It is night again and endless
are the stars. I can tell you exactly
what I mean. The world has been replaced
by our ideas about the world.
The Brilliance of Good TV
All praises for David Simon, the writer of television tales. I've recently revisited my two favorites: The Wire, about the drug trade and its reverberations in every aspect of urban life; and Treme, exploring the emotional, physical, financial, and cultural aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Both shows make complex issues real with writing and acting that is deep, honest and accurate. With each episode, I laugh, cry, and can't wait to watch another.
Blue Sky, Yellow Leaves, Warm Sun
For days I say the same phrase to everyone I meet: Can you believe this beautiful weather?
Crisp mornings, cool nights, warm days, blue sky, yellow leaves, day after glorious day. It's a script of happiness because sometimes there are not enough words to convey the gratitude of good weather, so I just repeat my mantra like a contented fool.
Your turn: What are you thankful for today?