Gratitude for all kinds of abundance

Scarlet runner beans on the vineI’m thankful for my beans! Not enough to feed my family, but watching them grow makes me happy.

I’m thankful for the chance to see Not That Funny–for gathering with work friends and former work friends and all the people coming together to support our friend who cowrote the script. That’s abundance. I was inspired to see his work complete and on the big screen. And I enjoyed the movie–hilarious and poignant, the kind of movie that rings true and stays with you (in a good way) for days. Plus, now I might have the tiniest crush on Nick Thune.

I’m thankful for the chance to hear Dean Young read his poems in his own voice and for his comments. Were we talking about funny? The evening was extra special gift as it was his first reading in three years and the first after his heart transplant.

I appreciated what he said during the interview about a poem needing a spine–even if you take it in a lot of crazy places, it needs to have a backbone holding it together. Thank you!

When asked about his titles, Mr. Young said he considers the title another opportunity to write a great line, instead of thinking about a title as just a label. Wow! I realize I’ve thought of titles maybe as labels and definitely as clues, maybe the missing puzzle piece, something that adds resonance (I hope). But thinking of them as lines makes me want to go back and retitle everything! Starting with the two I’m working on now.

What was “To Be Mother” might now be:

In the Kitchen, She Slices Her Confession
To Be Mother, in the Reflection
When the Poem Breaks a Mirror
She Slips off the Page and Into the Woods

So far, I’m partial to the first two, but I think I need to keep looking.

What was “Off Season” might become “Off Season, We Open Our Hands to Lovely and Alight Somewhere Else,” and that feels like a stretch. I’ve always struggled with titles, but this ratchets up the challenge.

I’m thankful for the chance to run a 5K race on Friday and finish it! Slowly (I call it “jogpaddling”), because I thought slower would be less risk for injury.

This was an experiment. Would my weekly weight regimen pay off and my knee hold up? I couldn’t train, because that might trash me before I’d started. (Note: This approach is not advised.) I had to trust in the weight work and my own mental stamina and the inspiration I get from my sister and sister-in-law. It worked.

Can I do it again? Can I jog around my neighborhood without repercussions? Can I get my speed up just a tiny bit? I don’t know. First, my quads need to stop hurting (can I blame them?).

I’m thankful I’ve been able to get up early every morning and do my morning page so I then have a bit of time to work on poems–or titles–before we leave the house. It’s harder to do as the mornings grow darker, but I trust I’ll get used to it.

I’m thankful for these glorious days we’ve had, although I’ve forgotten to water everything, with some unhappy consequences. But I revel in the blue and the light when the sun is up. I even took my turn-of-the-season cold outside this afternoon. The sun felt good, if brief.

Horse by the fenceI’m thankful for the poem acceptance I received yesterday morning on a submission I’d sent three years ago and which was rejected sometime back then. This horse is a gift and I’ll trust its teeth.

Open the door. Open my heart.