Friday, November 18, 2011

Words of Thanks


by Susan McBeth
On the first day of Thanksgiving week, I give thanks to William Shakespeare for teaching me the beauty, complexity, humor, and expanse of the English language.  As a writer, I can think of no greater gift.

On the second day of Thanksgiving week, I give thanks to W.G. Sebald, a brilliant German writer who tragically died before his time in an automobile accident, whose works have spoken to me in a way that have helped me better understand the complex nature of survivors in history and , thus, my own roots.

On the third day of Thanksgiving week, I give thanks to Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who reminds this writer daily that “I began these pages for myself, in order to think out my own particular pattern of living, my own individual balance of life, work and human relationships.”  A copy of Gift from the Sea is a permanent fixture on my nightstand and offers a constant reminder to keep my shell simple and open at all times.

On the fourth day of Thanksgiving week, I give thanks to Harper Lee, for teaching me that every life is a story, and those stories are dictated by our choices.  She reminds me daily to think thru the consequences of making the right, and wrong choices, in life.

On the fifth day of Thanksgiving week, I give thanks to Ayn Rand for teaching me the capability of the human mind and what we can all accomplish when we challenge our potential and utilize our own unique gifts

On the sixth day of Thanksgiving week, I give thanks to John Steinbeck for reminding me that we must never forget our humanity.  I can think of no other writer to date whose poignant words touched me so deeply that I carry an ingrained image of them in my brain on a daily basis.

On Thanksgiving Day, I close out the week and give thanks to Yann Martel for offering the gift of hope, and the reminder that we must all co-exist, despite our struggles.  I hope for the day when we can, in fact, give thanks that we indeed have achieved a peaceful co-existence.

 I wish to close by giving special thanks to my fellow San Diego Writing Women, who, thru their support, encouragement, and unique talents, have all offered me gifts of their own, and I thankfully accept and gratefully acknowledge their value in my life. 

8 comments:

margaretdilloway.com said...

I like the literary thanks approach-- so many times, writers do more than entertain, they change us.

sharyhover.com said...

I love your list. It will take some time for me to ponder the writers who have meant the most to me, but what a valuable exercise for any reader and writer.

Susan said...

Thanks Margaret and Shary
Would love to hear which writers you would give thanks to when you've had a chance to think about it.

leahsthoughts.com said...

Great piece! I love how you really honed in on the qualities of each of those writers and what they mean to you. It started getting me thinking about the writers that have influenced me.

animprobablelife.com said...

A literary Thanksgiving--so brilliant! I'm glad Deb Batterman pointed me to your post. What a joy. It made me start thinking about who'd be on my list. Harper Lee, for sure. Many more to add. Thanks for the wonderful post.
-Becky

monicastangledweb.com said...

Great piece, Susan. It really makes me think about who I am thankful for. Betty Smith and Dorothy Parker would be on my list, but I'll have to think further. By the way, I didn't realize there were so many days to Thanksgiving. I should start celebrating sooner!

Susan said...

Thank you Leah, Becky and Monica. Your kind words mean a lot considering what fabulous bloggers the three of you are! And, yes, Monica, Thanksgiving week for me starts when my kids get home and I celebrate all week!

Laurel Corona said...

And thanks back to you for all your support!

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