Friday, November 16, 2012

TGIF indeed!

I've been participating in the "30 Days of Gratitude" practice on FB this month. We started a gratitude practice at home a few years ago--mostly because I loved "saying our thankfuls" at Thanksgiving and wanted to extend that to the whole year--and it's been really great. It has taught me that, even on those hard days when I feel cranky or upset about something, I've got plenty to be thankful for and all it takes is a moment to see it, acknowledge it, and all of a sudden the bad doesn't seem so powerful or scary or permanent.

And, just as at the dinner table, some days on FB it has been challenging to arrive at something to be thankful for--within the parameters I have imposed on myself: it has to be sincere, and it can't always be about material objects. (Though I am thankful for what we have, I don't think that's what makes our lives rich and meaningful...) I've been tired, feeling like I'm coming down with something, and work has been relentless and sometimes frustrating, so I have definitely been... well, not altogether joyful.

But, just as at the dinner table, some days it's really easy and I have a list as long as my arm of things I'm thankful for. This week, Louise Erdrich, one of my favorite authors of all time, won the 2012 National Book Award for fiction for her new novel The Round House. I'm thankful her work will get more recognition from the general book-reading public (not just critics, who already love her work). And I'm thankful that I get to read it, starting this weekend with the start of our Thanksgiving break!

(Ingredients of an excellent Friday morning...)

Today I am thankful for Friday morning: my favorite tea in my favorite mug, music playing on the radio in the next room, and several hours to work on writing projects (while wearing pjs and my favorite shawl). I have a couple projects I need to finish for school this afternoon--an overdue report, a recommendation letter--but this morning I get to work on a scholarly project: examining representations of the Sun Dancer. I have been reading some theory that's new to me (about material rhetoric), and I feel like I'm on the edge of understanding how it can help me communicate what's so important about depictions of the Sun Dancer in recent works by native people. Today I will send a paper proposal to NALS 2013 to see if they're interested in having me present it at the conference next spring. But even if they're not, I'm excited about this project and the next steps forward in articulating my ideas.

Tea, music, writing, and the comfort of pjs and a hand-knitted shawl; what could be better on a Friday morning?

I hope you find something to feel grateful for today!



  1. I'm grateful that you posted this. And I am grateful because a First Nations woman showed me this short 'Sylix Song' which I thought you would enjoy: