Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let the Blessings Begin!

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-Melody Beattie

My friend Cordelia over at Cordelia's Cauldron has begun a blog series/ challenge entitled 15 Days of Thankfulness. I'm picking up the gauntlet and asking that you do the same if your write a blog, or to urge the author of your favorite blog to join us. Many  have been deeply affected by living in such an unstable economy, it's easy to let negativity slip in and color our thinking. There's a lot to worry about. There's a mountain of crap looming over us casting a shadow of doubt. It's really, really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and believe it could actually be daylight and not the head lamp of a train coming to mow us down.

 I wrote this post at this time last year:  It began with the same quote I've used above, because I believe those words sum up the core essence of gratitude pretty well for me.

It's easy to for me to loose sight of what is good in my life. I always remember the big things, but the little ones often get plowed under...and it's the simple, everyday things that make my life tolerable, especially the space in my head that I'm occupying presently. The little things enhance so much of my life and make it better. But I forget...we all forget.

November 10 - Day 1 - An author, artist and musician you are thankful for.


"Poe"  by David Gough
I love to read. I was that dorky kid who loved going to study hall in the library because it meant I could get a book off the shelf and get lost in it. Reading fired my imagination and made me want more out of my life. I knew early on that I would never be satisfied just sitting at home: I wanted to go places and do things. There was never a lot of money in our house for extras, so there were few vacations. But a book from the library cost nothing and allowed me to travel around the world and beyond. I could be a time traveler and go back to the beginnings of history in the pages of the classics. One week I was in Rome, the next in New York, and I never left the comfort of my bedroom. I could go places and do things only limited by my imagination and the card catalog in the local library. I gave up a whole week at camp one summer to read Bram Stoker's Dracula.

I read all types of books, but I love a good mystery with a lot of plot twists. Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe were all my best friends, and still are, but I've added Anne Rice, Patricia Cornwell, Dan Brown and a few theologians to the gang.

La Bella Mano by Rosetti
(I adore all things Victorian because it can go to either extreame with me: beautiful or macabre, depending on my mood. I suspect I was either born out of time or had another lifetime then, because I can transported back to that time so easily.)


My college education began by studying the fine arts, and at one time I  intended to be an artist by trade. I taught art for nearly ten years in both public and private school and for special populations. My greatest joy as an art teacher was when I could help someone release creativity they never dreamed they had. For a while I worked at the Delaware Art Museum, where I was surrounded by paintings by Howard Pyle, N.C.Wyeth, his son Andrew and his grandson Jamie, Joan Sloan, and the largest collection of Pre-Raphelite art in the world. Every day I could stand in front of the originals- and oft times the artist's sketches- of The Mermaid, Marooned or
La Bella Mano. Dante Gabriel Rosetti is my favorite  artist of the Pre-Raphelite Brotherhood, because I adore his model Alexa Wilding (who may have been his mistress).


I am a sucker for singer-songwriters. I simply love hearing a song sung by the composer because that artist knows how the lyrics were intended to sound, they know the inflection and the emotion behind those words better than anyone. My taste in music is broad: Classical, Jazz, Celtic, 80's Pop Rock,Broadway Show tunes, Cowboy Western and 1960's era Folk. My cell's ringtone is Pachebel's Canon, but my screensaver is a photo of Rick Springfield strapped into and tearing up an electric guitar playing  the solo of Jessie's Girl in concert.  Some days I want to hear Michael Crawford sing The Phantom, others I want to meditate to Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring, or clean house to David Benoit playing The Great Pumpkin Waltz. I have a special place for John Denver, who did Western Country Cowboy songs like nobody else will ever do again. If I have to pick one to be my favorite, it would easily be JD, because we were friends for so long. We became friends because of the music, and it bonded us for a quarter century until his death.

For the artistry of these individuals- and many others, I am thankful.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely idea! I'm still catching up on my blog reading, but I'm enjoying seeing all your gratitude posts.

    Great choice for John Denver. He was such a talent. What you say about singer-songwriters is how I feel about audiobooks, too. Read by the author, you know just how they intended names to be pronounced, inflection and tone of voice.


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