It's my favorite holiday. Today is not about giving thanks for the gift we can touch. It's not about money. Not the "Thank you, Vernon for the ipad you got me for your birthday" gift but the mostly intangible, unseen gifts of love, friendship, support and kindness that carry us throughout the year. These gifts are our private safety net. They give us courage to do what we do every day of the year. I know I very much need them and I hope I can be found in many other invisible safety nets, too. This is the greatest gift of all.
I'm thankful for wise counsel. This isn't always so easy to give - everyone has a private agenda. It's the counsel that sets aside one's personal wants and needs in favor of another's. Mom, Judy, Les, Darlie, Alan, Gwen and more, I've been the lucky recipient of such selfless advice and it's something my friends and family have been called on to provide. It's easy to find those who will let you spin and act out - it's the true friend who helps you stop.
I'm thankful for generous and kind friends who have opened their hearts and homes to the weary traveler. I've been so fortunate to received this kindness. Helen Cox, Dani and Natalia, Sylvie and Gerard....they have made their homes, my own. I could not do what I do without this kindness, believe me.
I'm thankful for my furry kids. They make me laugh every single day and we should all, at minimum, chuckle ever day. Nothing warms a cold day like a ball of fur and it's hard to find anything that calms and warms the heart like burying the face in the thick ruff of a dog's fur or pressing a cold nose against the warm muzzle of a horse.
I'm thankful for movies. I love movies. They carry us away to parts unknown. I've seen the end of the world, many times. I've been to the far reaches of the universe and brought back whole. I've seen the triumph over adversity by the most unlikely characters - nothing is better than the real thing. Temple Grandin, Michael Oher, Dr, Nash - nothing could stop them from achieving their great ends. Triumph over adversity is the best inspiration of all.
I'm thankful for music, although it's also a humbling source of frustration. I want to sing like Eva Cassidy! I want to play guitar like Eric Clapton and pound the drums like Ringo. Music makes me appreciate the gifts of others, gifts I clearly don't have. We all need a dose of reality once in a while. I'm thankful for my friend Kathleen Dustin, who makes her own music through her art. I can't be Kathleen but her work has changed my own.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to travel - regardless of how difficult it is (and it is). We are all the same. People all over the world want the same thing - safety for their families, love of others, appreciation by those around them and respect. Everyone loves their country and feels the same sense of pride in its history and traditions. We are all the same.
I'm thankful for problems. Yup, problems. They're really opportunities wrapped in garbage. Solving problems is to grow. It's in finding solutions that we can understand ourselves because we have always played some part in the problem itself. Sometimes these are painful lessons but we're always better in the long run.
I'm thankful for polymer clay. I bounced around for a lot of years before this medium hooked me. It has largely dictated the course of my life. It's opened doors and created opportunities. I don't know where I'd be without it, but I do recognize what it has done for me. I'm really thankful for Kato Polyclay and the people who made it possible.
I'm thankful for my students who have come and taken the time to spend with me. You know, I think I've learned more from you than you have from me.
I'm thankful for the family of creative individuals who share and mentor others. In this day and age, it's easy to think only "me" and forget the "we". In our daily life, we're actually encouraged to make the world the 3 feet around us. Through creating and connecting with other like minds, we reach the more enlightened "we". So, I'm very thankful for you.
So, in 2010, that's my short list! I could go on but I won't. From my heart to yours, I wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving.