November 21, 2012

A Writer's Gratitude


As a "white girl" from the reservation, I have come to feel slightly squeamish about the holiday of Thanksgiving, which carries some obvious negative connotations. And yet, as an optimist, I can appreciate that we set aside a day each year to express gratitude for our blessings.

In recent years especially, I've found gratitude to be an exceptionally important tool for moving through this world intact. Without gratitude, even the most bounteous life can take on a gray hue. True gratitude adds color and light to our lives, allowing each day to become a continuous refrain of thankfulness for the very fact that we are alive.

As a mother and wife, I can fill a whole cornucopia with expressions of gratitude. As a child of God, another entire basketful. And as a writer, yet more specific, grateful thoughts come to mind.

For example, I am grateful for language itself. Imagine a world without language, without the ability to succinctly express, in words, what we are feeling inside. Woe to those who would live in that dark world in which chapters in books and words to songs would not exist!

And speaking of books, I am grateful for all of the good ones that have shaped my life, starting with the nursery rhymes and fairy tales I read as a child; stories and poems packed with colorful ideas that sparked my imagination and made me think about things like right and wrong, and what motivates us on a journey of discovery, and the good and bad things that can happen along the way.

I am grateful, too, for the chance to bring the thoughts that churn inside me on a daily basis to the surface, for the ability to translate them into words, and for the blessing of sharing them with others, thereby multiplying their effect.

I am grateful for good books on a dark night that bring light into my heart just before I nod off; for newspaper articles that help me better understand the world; for the sweet and unexpected notes I sometimes receive from my children; for the chance to write letters back to those I love and care about.

I am grateful for having had the privilege of interviewing all sorts of amazing people and glimpsing pieces of their souls, and for the chance to then set about the task of sharing those glimpses with others in a meaningful way.

And finally, I'm grateful for the chance to sing the words that God has gifted us with -- the Scriptures -- in church, either as a cantor or as part of our parish's contemporary music group. To me, this feels like the highest form of honoring words -- raising them to the heavens to help bring hearts to God.

In honor of having just heard Michael W. Smith's words and song in concert this past weeked, I leave you with some of my favorite words of his, and with them, a sincere wish that you have an abundantly blessed Thanksgiving!

Above all powers, above all kings Above all nature and all created things Above all wisdom and all the ways of man You were here, before the world began
Above all kingdoms, above all thrones Above all wonders the world has ever known Above all wealth and treasures of the earth There's no way to measure what you're worth
Crucified, laid behind a stone You lived to die, rejected and alone Like a rose, trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me Above all
Above all powers Above all powers, above all kings Above all nature and all created things Above all wisdom and all the ways of man You were here, before the world began
Above all kingdoms, above all thrones Above all wonders the world has ever known Above all wealth and treasures of the earth There's no way to measure what you're worth
Crucified, laid behind a stone You lived to die, rejected and alone Like a rose, trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me Above all
Crucified, laid behind a stone You lived to die, rejected and alone Like a rose, trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me Above all
Like a rose, trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me Above all

Read more: MICHAEL W. SMITH - ABOVE ALL LYRICS
Above All by Michael W. Smith (listen here)

Above all powers
above all kings

Above all nature
and all created things

Above all wisdom
and all the ways of man

You were here before
the world began

Above all kingdoms
Above all thrones

Above all wonders
the world has ever known

Above all wealth
and treasures of the earth

There's no way to measure
what You're worth

Crucified
laid behind the stone

You lived to die
rejected and alone

Like a Rose
trampled on the ground

You took the fall
and thought of me

Above all

Crucified
laid behind the stone

You lived to die
rejected and alone

Like a Rose
trampled on the ground

You took the fall
and thought of me

Above all

Like a Rose
trampled on the ground

You took the fall
and thought of me

Above all
Above all powers, above all kings Above all nature and all created things Above all wisdom and all the ways of man You were here, before the world began
Above all kingdoms, above all thrones Above all wonders the world has ever known Above all wealth and treasures of the earth There's no way to measure what you're worth
Crucified, laid behind a stone You lived to die, rejected and alone Like a rose, trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me Above all
Above all powers Above all powers, above all kings Above all nature and all created things Above all wisdom and all the ways of man You were here, before the world began
Above all kingdoms, above all thrones Above all wonders the world has ever known Above all wealth and treasures of the earth There's no way to measure what you're worth
Crucified, laid behind a stone You lived to die, rejected and alone Like a rose, trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me Above all
Crucified, laid behind a stone You lived to die, rejected and alone Like a rose, trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me Above all
Like a rose, trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me Above all

Read more: MICHAEL W. SMITH - ABOVE ALL LYRICS



2 comments:

Far Side of Fifty said...

Happy Thanksgiving:)

Mary Aalgaard said...

I am also grateful for all those wonderful words and how they help me process life and connect with others. Happy Thanksgiving, writermamapal!