I want to be writing in my journal, but I burned my finger on the gravy and can't hold a pen properly. Typing is easier.
Stuffed, of course, on turkey and two kinds of yams and mashed potatoes and green beans and rolls. Dad and I walked for about fifteen minutes beforehand, collecting red leaves on First Street. We'll be frosting cookies in a bit, as soon as we can pop the dishes into the second dishwasher load. I took some blurry pictures of the table before dinner. Tried to take a picture of myself in the cornucopihat. Blurry.
It is the day to be thankful, and I am.
I am thankful for my parents, that they're interesting every day. That they don't freak out when I pour gravy on myself for no reason. For being steady.
I am thankful for my sister in Africa, for finding joy and living as fully as she can wherever she is. I am thankful for my sister in California, for being more faithful than nature. For both of them – for loving me like I'm more fascinating than I am.
I am thankful for my brother, for being brave and patient with the world. For believing foolishly.
I am thankful for the view out my window, for everyone who lives boldly in the open across the street.
For this past Monday, for wisdom and the peace of family who aren't family. For conversation and wine and infinity scarves in the fading light.
For writing till it hurts and the coffee that attends it, for criticism that constructs, for absurd word games and Lebanese food. You're in that, Jenny Bellington.
I'm thankful for Portfolio, but if I'm honest with myself, I've owed more to Starbucks with their consistency and ubiquity than to any other company.
For love that I ask for and love that I don't. For waking after strange dreams. For pages and pens. For C. S. Lewis (I'm reading you tonight) and Walter Wangerin Jr. and Frederic Buechner, and a host of smarter men than me. Not that I'm a man. But you get what I'm saying.
For learning my weaknesses and discovering that I can put my foot down and leave it there with happiness.
For Icarus – though you haven't spoken to me in years. For Eros – though you have grown up without me. I owe more to the two of you than to any other men.
For poetic code names no one understands but me.
For Kathryn and Chaeli, for keeping me in your hearts and hunting me down regardless of where I go in my head.
For grace. For spades of oceans of grace. For the seamonster that devours all my errors. For the Violet Burning (That's not a poetic code name. It's a band.) and for hymns. For Beth Balmer and the liturgy. For Grace Brethren, St Francis, New Life, St Andrew's, Church of the Resurrection, and Church of the Great Shepherd. Those who criticize the Church have not known you.
For my grandmother, who is gone. I wish you knew me now – the awkward phase is mostly over. You would have taught me to knit a cable knit sweater fit for an Atlantic fisherman.
I have been inordinately blessed.
To the one who gives more than I can return, I thank you.