gratitude

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The ornamental plums blossoms slowly give way to their leaves–for now a mottled mess of pink and dark red. The cherries won’t last much longer–but for now I treasure the clouds of blooms that float against the sky.

And today that sky was oh so blue and glorious–a perfect day for late Christmas! Today our family from Oregon was in town, and we gathered at my sister-in-law’s for a delicious brunch. So good to see everyone!. And we finally gave our niece her presents.

Then a family walk through Lincoln Park, a chance to wander and talk and soak up the sun. All that water, and the ferry crossing. All that time together. I’m very thankful.

I’m thankful for the Bloodmobile, which reaches even the wilds of Bothell.

I’m thankful for the wilds of Bothell, the creek and refuge just one parking lot away.

I’m thankful to live in a city where we have the Arts & Lectures poetry series. And this week, I’m especially thankful to hear J.W. Marshall and Christine Deavel read there. Even more, I’m thankful for their store, Open Books, and for the example they live for all of us.

I’m thankful for the neighbors’ star magnolia, which brightens these early spring days and might have brought me a poem.

Thank you. Open the door. Open my heart.

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I’m thankful for ornamental plum blossom season. Here, before the petal snow, blossoms billow against whatever steel-gray or blue skies March brings. Weather blows through without making up its mind–drizzle-mist, sun, downpour, or the threat of cloud burst looming large and iron-purple, but the pink and white blossoms, the yellow daffodils blooming already, and the fat green shoots of tulips to come promise that spring is coming. No matter that when those tulips finally open, we’ll probably get a wind storm to strip. Such signs, such signs as the purple hyacinth in the back of the back yard, help through the gray, help ease me out of winter.

I’m thankful for sleep.

I’m thankful for my family and all its extensions. I’m especially thankful for some time with my daughter, who turned 21 on Friday, and my oldest son and his girlfriend and her family. Very thankful.

And thank you to all the friends who came through the rain for today’s poetry reading–so good to see you!–and a huge thanks to the other poets who read and to Eagle Harbor Books.

Finally, I’m sending good thoughts to my younger son, who left this week for his next stint of Marines training.

Keep the door open. Open my heart.

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New job! Learning new things! Contributing!

Sleep!

Light traffic coming home on Friday afternoon.

Some insights on the manuscript with which I’ve recently struggled. (Now I just need to explore those insights.)

Family day! Brunch with my dad, husband, and daughter. Dinner with the whole extended family (daughter’s early 21st birthday celebration; 14 people). We all were fed, company + cake. Thanks to my daughter for her help, and thanks to everyone who helped with the dishes.

A fun afternoon with sun and poetry: Martha Silano’s reading of her new book Reckless Lovely–so good to hear the poems out loud in person–and a chance to hang out with friends later.

Eggplant parm made by Tom.

All in all, a fabulous week. Keep the door open. Open my heart.

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Two blue spiral notebooksI started the blue notebook on the left at LiTFUSE last September, filled it with notes, exercises, drafts of poems, ideas for poems. Five days later, I was laid off from my job. The notebook became a hybrid of poetry free-writes and career-shift notes, as I met with many helpful people and learned a lot. Thank you, all of you.

When that first notebook was full, I started the next one. I’ve found a few unused notebooks left over from my kids’ high school days, and I liked the continuity of blue. More free writes, meeting notes, and interview notes, plus notes from AWP.

Tomorrow, I start my new job at Winshuttle. I enjoy the fact that these notebooks started with LiTFUSE and my time off (however you want to call it) has ended with AWP. I still have room in the notebook, and I’ll keep writing, although I’m yet sure when.

This week, I’m thankful for having lunch with my Mom.

I’m thankful for my time at AWP–for seeing so many friends and for meeting new people as well as meeting Facebook friends in person and for learning about novel structure and the lyric essay and poetry of wonder and for hearing so much poetry.

And I’m thankful for starting my new job.

Open the door. Open my heart.

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I was going to say I’m thankful for snow in the forecast–just a little snow, enough to be pretty. But forecasts have shifted and snow doesn’t look likely for Seattle. I can be envious of the folks to the north, and, if they want, they can be envious of the weather here. (Nice for ducks.)

But I have plenty of other things to be thankful for:

Thankful for any rest I was able to catch.

Thankful for a safe drive up to Bellingham and back on Monday, and hoping my daughter’s trip today (into the snow!) goes well.

Thankful for breakfast with my dad.

Thankful for time with my daughter and younger son.

Thankful for cough drops, and a well-stocked freezer and pantry, so I can delay venturing into the rain for a while longer.

Thankful for the energy to rip my next poetry manuscript apart yet again, for insights on what might make it more complete, more compelling.

Open the door. Open my heart.

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