Gratitude, with friends, poems, and a museum

With hail banging away outside my window, I take a Sunday moment to remember the past week–with gratitude.

I’m thankful for people who share their stories, the hard times and the better times, for the roof over my head (how fortunate I’ve been!), and for people who are willing to take on big projects.

I thankful for the Wednesday reading with the Floating Bridge Press people. I have a hard time leaving the house after work. It’s warm. It’s dry. I can turn the lights on, and I have a sofa. But for the Floating Bridge Review gala reading, I can reach escape velocity. It was a fun and friendly evening–hearing new poems and another chance to share an Into the Rumored Spring poem (which appeared in an earlier edition of Floating Bridge Review).

I’m really thankful for all the work that Floating Bridge Press had done over the past 17 or so years, and the dedication of the people who continue to keep it going.

I’m thankful for a writing afternoon yesterday and a long Skype conversation with a friend. What an amazing technology–the vision phones that were predicted when we were young. How else can you meet someone’s dog when they live many hours away?

I’m thankful for finishing a draft of a poem for a friend. I try to write a poem for her every autumn, and some years they take a long time to come together. But this year I finally have a solid version–close if not final.

I’m thankful for chance to run a couple of miles–the chance to run! My third time out in about two weeks, after a 24-year hiatus. I’m much slower and more winded than I’d like to be, but I’m thankful my knee’s held up. Although something about running disturbs my body–my nose ran for about 12 hours. I’m thankful for the cold meds that helped me to be socially acceptable and sleep at night.

I’m thankful for a wonderful dinner last night at a friend’s house–delicious and comforting food (think meat pie!), a new wine with each course, tasting and learning. Meeting new people. Connecting with someone from the ’80s. And more stories! Hours to share.

I’m thankful for a date day with my husband (even though I was prickly sometimes) and a trip to the Seattle Art Museum for their elles:pompidou/women take over show, a chance to see room after room of art made by women. All kinds. The art inspires me with the dedication it represents, the focus, the mastery of materials and vision. Today, I was especially taken with the photographs by Imogene Cunningham and the abstract art. And I learned something new about what I’m trying to do with my poems.

Plus lunch, and we made it home before the hail storm. Now a chance to sit in the dwindling light, watch the weather, and work some more on my manuscript for the Cathlamet Prize contest.

What are you thankful for? What reminds you?

Open the door. Open my heart.