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01-23-04 - 9:40 a.m.

TWENTY THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR


That my Dad survived a sudden and serious “heart event” and the requisite surgery accompanying it.

That I have been born into a family with two parents who really love me (a swell as each other): they have raised me to be close with them and honest with them, and have never abused me.

That Andrew helped get me through middle and high-school years with his long distance love and support. That he was my first sexual experience, and it was safe and loving.

That due to a combination of personal discipline, life circumstances, and prescribed medication, happiness is becoming more possible and even expected.

That I met Bat, who was to become my best friend, change me a multitude of ways, and be the love of my life thus far. .

That I was born in a prosperous and developed country, where I can pick and choose political and religious ideas without consequence.

That within the country I was born, I was born not into poverty but abundance, in a family that could afford good medical care, could afford to spend lots of time with me, could send me to college, and take me on fun vacations.

That the church of my youth and its teen members across the region and locally supported me and brought me joy in my tumultuous high school years, helped me grow spiritually and made me feel beautiful. From learning how to dance and play there.

That I have been given, or found within myself, the patience and empathy to tolerate and love my sister, and of course, that I know her, despite what a pain in the ass she can be. For playing and goofing with my sister; for learning about myself from her.

For the written word, for song lyrics that make me cry and novels that expand my mind, nonfiction that outrages and incites me, the poems which I read and write, Gertrude Stein who revolutionized my poetry . . .for Kerouac and Atwood and so many more.

For touch and sensuality and sex, for my head on my Dad’s chest while I cried, for a hug from an old friend, for first kisses that make you tingle, for making love wrapped around each other, for fucking on the floor, for loving the hell out of my self in the most physical way.

For the wide variety of foods – for ethnic foods from many countries, regional artery blockers, low-fat vegetarian goodies, homemade beans and rice, falafels downtown, takeout Chinese, pasta from a dozen or so countries. For a peeled broccoli stem, a green apple, and ginger tea. For sauces and condiments and produce a thousand miles away.

That I have learned such philosophies that allow me to take a big bite out of life regularly, and savor it.

That whenever I have wanted to kill myself, there has been someone there to tell me they loved me and beg me not to do it.

For all the people who have passed through my life: professors and teachers, casual friends, mentors, internet acquaintances, intimate friends, lovers, boyfriends.

For the ability to act like a child after I’m supposed to be adult, to speak nonsense and enjoy slapstick humor when it occurs in real life, to run about giggling.

That my parents afforded me great freedom in becoming who I wanted to be, and that I am becoming my own person.

That I was raised to be an intelligent and introspective person, capable of improving on my own life, holding an intelligent conversation, and writing a good essay.

For the other of my five senses I haven’t mentioned: smell and sight and hearing, which provide an unlistable amount of beauties and pleasures to me.

That I am alive for this moment now, and well, too.

 

 

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