Day #365: A Year of Gratitude

I am grateful for each and every one of you. You’ve read my musings throughout this year and you’ve offered kind responses. You add depth and texture to my life. I hope this year has reminded you of all you have to be grateful for, even when it feels like a reach. When I began, I didn’t know if I could find 365 reasons to be grateful. This year has taught me that gratitude is always there … looking for reasons is a good habit.

I’m going to close the way I began a year ago, with Tom Lieberman singing his song, “Common Denominator,” the theme song of my life. http://bit.ly/2pWVuJC

Don’t fracture the fraction of the factitious faction.
Illuminate the nuances too numerous to name.
Do not neglect the power of the peaceful action,
Because when you run the numbers we are more or less the same.

You be you, I’ll be me, that’s the way it’s got to be.
What’s the difference of opinion in a minyan or a mosque?
We each have a point of view and perhaps each one is true,
Me and you make quite some pair, we two, a Bartlett and a Bosc.

Gotta find that common demoninator, whole world ’round,
Gotta find that common denominator, find the common ground,
Gotta find that common denominator, yours and mine,
gotta find that common denominator, that’s the bottom line.

There’s more … please listen. Tom’s a brilliant lyricist.

Day #364: Books

Does this need to be said? But how do I let 365 days fill up with gratitude without acknowledging the necessary-as-blood-and-water place of books in my life? My grandfather always said I had better be buried with a book in my hands or God wouldn’t recognize me at the Golden Gates. I saw a business card yesterday with the job title “Professional Reader.” How do I get THAT job? Books–in all of their forms–are the way I educate myself, my pathway to new ideas, my best source of humor, the way I travel, and the way I find beauty. I AM GRATEFUL FOR BOOKS!

City of Books
(art: Elena Schweitzer | Adobe Stock)

Day #363: Night

At night, in the darkness, when everything is still, my brain can imagine anything. As a child, the darkness meant I could construct stories, populate them with characters, progress the plot daily. The moon lit the trees and flowers, the snowdrifts and snow forts, the piles of leaves and stacked logs, turning them into creatures of my own invention. In the night, everything is possible.

night time

Day #360: My Grandmother

I am grateful to my grandmother for giving me a loving home, showing me how to do so many practical things, playing games with me, teaching me to crochet and embroider, and giving me an example of a hostess who shows caring and love in a myriad of ways. She was funny and playful. And she spent hours making clothes for my Barbie doll. It is a gift I will cherish always to have had a grandmother like her.

grandmother

Day #359: Book Clubs

I am a member of two book clubs. One reads and discusses books for children and teens. The other reads books about people who have grown up differently than I have, perhaps in another country or another neighborhood or another religion or another political ideology. The purposes of these book clubs might seem very different, but they both open my mind. They give me a group of people, seldom like-minded, with whom I can discuss Big Ideas and small details, try out my new understandings, and LEARN because the others have experiences I don’t. Sometimes, my feelings about a book or a topic take a 180º turn. I find great value in this. I am grateful for the opportunities to have open and honest discussions where people are considerate and respectful. These conversations are life-affirming. These book clubs give me hope.

Book heart

Day #358: Our Freezer

In the waning days of this year-long journal, I feel compelled to add one more mundane entry. It’s that time of year when no fruits or vegetables are being picked locally and sold in the markets. We have hydroponic, and some produce that has been stored (apples, carrots, potatoes) but for that taste of garden fresh, we rely on our freezer. Soups, vegetables, fruits, are all stored in our freezer in mason jars, awaiting the winter NEED to taste something wholesome. There is no place in our house to store homemade canned goods. We haven’t dug a root cellar yet, haven’t pushed through the concrete foundation. My grandfather would have, and did, in most of his homes. We rely instead on the freezer and, as Steve said this morning, “What a good investment that freezer has been.”

freezer

Day #357: This Poem

baby sleeping

All people are children when they sleep.
there’s no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.

Rolf Jacobsen (translated by Robert Hedin from the original Norwegian)

Day #356: Typography

One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is typography. I love the rules. I find it fascinating that typography makes reading easier and we’re not often conscious of it. Learning typography 30 years ago was challenging but now it’s a part of my everyday repertoire as a graphic designer. My thanks to Robin Williams who made the learning accessible and fun. One of the best acronyms ever: CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity). I am grateful!

The Non-Designer's Design Book