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 (sometimes dire) 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.
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