11-18-16 day 18
i know we’re all feeling thankful for joe biden right about now, so i am not saying anything original here. i, however, am reminded of why i am actually thankful for his public service, even more than i am for imagining him leaving his gameboy in the oval office, removing the t’s from the keyboards, ordering 500 pizzas delivered to the white house on january 21st, and changing the wifi password. the guy is a master of going off script, and was consistently among the least wealthy members of congress. his life story is heartbreaking and it makes you appreciate his big smile all the more. there’s so much to love. but i personally want to thank him for the violence against women act of 1994 that made it so the restraining order i filed 14 years later could actually be upheld and enforced; that made it so stalking is a crime; that made it so rape victims didn’t have to pay for their own exams; that provided resources to underserved (native americans, immigrants, and lgbtq) victims of domestic violence; that established a domestic violence hotline… you get the idea.
these stats are available on the white house fact sheet about the vawa:
“between 1993 to 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence declined 67%;
between 1993 to 2007, the rate of intimate partner homicides of females decreased 35% and the rate of intimate partner homicides of males decreased 46%.”
i also want to thank him for his letter to the stanford rape survivor, which is not new news, but is still powerful and shows his empathy for victims of violence is still alive and well.
11-19-16 day 19
today i am thankful for some outside time on a saturday afternoon without rain, to work on my terrace garden; kittens; playing board games with friends; soup and pie; my grandma, whose pie crust recipe is the best in the world; the way children whisper towards each other’s faces instead of towards their ears; the rain coming down now that it’s dark and i’m snug in my fuzzy owl blanket from my mother-outlaw listening to the lulling sound; the farmer’s market; my thanksgiving grocery shopping checked off the list; and a warm bed to fall into momentarily.
11-20-16 day 20
it was such a relief when my first therapist told me, “you don’t need to get an A in therapy.” today i am thankful that i don’t need to get an A in the 30-day gratitude challenge.
some days, words fail, and it makes me thankful for my other hobby of photography. when i can’t come up with 1000 words of my own, i can let the photos write the story.
(ha. i just realized, it’s a story about light.)
11-21-16 day 21
today i am thankful for love notes of every kind. i love seeing love notes posted around my friend’s kitchen from her husband. i love seeing friends’ photos of love notes their kids have written them. i love the sidewalk chalk love notes left by the neighbors of a mosque in virginia, telling their islamic brothers and sisters they are with them, they love them, they are here for them.
and of course, i love the love letters i receive from my love. lately they come in the form of facebook stickers on the posts i have been writing and he has been faithfully reading; songs he thinks i will like that he now knows how to send me via messenger, like “emmylou” by first aid kit, to which he added, “i’ll be your gram and your johnny too”; articles he knows i’ll appreciate, such as one about a scultpture depicting two adults with backs turned, whose inner children can be seen inside them, reaching towards each other for connection. he made sure i realized he wasn’t suggesting we were fighting or had our backs turned, he just thought i’d like it given all my connectome words lately. i said, “honey, i know my memory is bad, but even i can remember that we don’t fight”; on the note i asked him to write of an album he’d like me to buy (he doesn’t buy anything online… yet! he’s still breaking in stickers) he dotted all the i’s with hearts; he left an article about a couple in yachats celebrating their 75th anniversary (happy anniversary, clare and earl!) on the bed for me to read. he has done this many times with the “northwest love stories” printed periodically in the oregonian – swoon; and also with the sports page, when it’s about some athlete proposing to his girlfriend in some romantic way. even i can be a football fan when it’s filtered like that for me. huck it, chuck it, football!
11-22-16 day 22
today i am thankful for nachos.
i’m also thankful for dorkaversaries (happy almost our five year-a-versary in one month, honey!) and a certain foster nephew having a birthday, and a 2 hour and 46 minute phone chat with my mom this morning, and a nice long in person chat with one friend yesterday, complete with little fingers holding scissors and glue sticks, and a nice long in person chat with another friend today, complete with gangly people playing games. and watching my kid march out of the library with all the books he couldn’t help but check out, and read while eating dinner (at a table full of clutter! keepin it real!).
yes, nachos. thankful for nachos.
11-23-16 day 23
refer to days 1-22! still thankful for wood stove fires, music, friends, family, things that are bigger than my little circumstances and help me have perspective, kitties, playing games with my kid, nachos, books, and my fiance.
11-24-16 day 24
happy thanksgiving! it’s gratitude day!
i’m thankful today for water. i am listening to a lot of water pelting the metal roof of our house, and overflowing the gutters. the driveway pond is now a thing. i am thankful for the bayou that is filling up with all this fresh rain. (part of our 1.2 acres is swamp land, and we refer to our little section of bog affectionately as the bayou. we take walks there, where rich has cleared and maintained some nice trails through our forest. we’ve seen tons of birds and other wildlife there and all three of us find it to be a source of rejuvenation and peace.)
i’m thankful that nobody is trying to install a pipeline through the middle of my water table. i’m thankful that i can sit here comfortably in my house, knowing that my well is being recharged with all of this wonderful pacific northwest rain forest water, this november sunshine. it’s pretty essential stuff. coming out of our faucets, it is clear and cold, and leaves no trace of residue on our sinks. no colors or odors. no chlorine, no fluoride. it’s probably my number one favorite thing about this particular piece of property, although i do love the house and yard and forest and bayou very much. partly i am able to appreciate it because at our previous house, the spring would dry up for a few months each summer, and just in time for all my garden plants to shrivel and die, i couldn’t afford to spare any of our household water to quench their thirst. the water here is plentiful, clean, and i can fill up a bathtub whenever the spirit moves me, and soak my troubles away in the hot water, which has always been highest on my list of self care tasks. i look forward to lavishing water upon my terraced flower beds next summer, that i am currently trying to build, in between rain storms.
metaphors about water cling to me. the river of life which barbara kingsolver would say, as writers we try to pin to its banks using our words, realizing all the while of course the futility of trying to stop it in its tracks. utah phillips said, “time is an enormous, long river, and i’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. my elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through and everything they gave their lives to, and every song they created, and every poem that they laid down flows down to me – and if i take the time to ask, and if i take the time to see, and if i take the time to reach out, i can build that bridge between my world and theirs. i can reach down into that river and take out what i need to get through this world.”
for a writing assignment one time, i sprinkled water imagery throughout a character sketch of my son, who at the time was 5. you can read it here:
i hope you are all enjoying some lovely time with family and friends, and that you can also count among your blessings an abundance of clean running water.