In Gratitude

Given the tumultuous times we’re living through and the propensity for humans to complain about pretty much everything, a couple weeks ago I asked my Facebook friends to answer this survey question: “Don’t think. Name a few things you’re grateful for right NOW.”  I got the blessing-counting ball rolling with “coffee, newspaper, quiet, fresh blanket o’ snow.”

The response was amazing. Answers came from old friends and family members and long-lost musicians, shouting out from various foxholes and way stations about family, friends, lovers, tough experiences that taught tough lessons, and about how blessed most of us feel to have enough to eat and a roof over our heads — not to mention plenty of art, music, sex, love, etc. Like the best of such threads, the whole of it read like a wise little tone-poem, so much so that I wanted to share a few of my favorites. Enjoy:

Hilary Simonson: “Tab, my boyfriend and his wonderful parents, my dog and cat, skinny cow ice cream cones, ipods, wild animals that run rampant in south minneapolis.”

Tom Kelly: “That my parents did well enough with me that I can do well enough raising my own kids. I’m also grateful that I don’t have to be a perfect parent to have it all turn out beautifully.”

Dana Noelle Thompson: “Collard greens and gravity.”

Darron Nelson: “the albino squirrel that has made my neighborhood its home for the past year.”

Sara Ross: “Being able to feel the pain in my feet and back because I was able to put in a long day’s work.”

Celine Schroeder:  “the seven senses.”

Pete Christensen: “rain, dead (grateful), innocence, peace, pals, wife/kids/fam, snow, full moon, experiences, learning, those who have paved the way, those who have passed on, those who are yet to be, google/internet/wiki & everyone who has time to archive data, pioneers/adventurers, food, music, indoor plumbing, saunas, electric guitars & hammond organs, drums and drum circles, sometimes buses, telephones, planes, trucks, ships, pine trees, lakes & seas & oceans, mountains for sure, sun sun sun, sweatshirts, jeans, ipods, beer, pot, jon stewart, rose garden, minneapolis, sushi, and electricity.”

Mary Leinfelder: “oranges, three year old people, great smiles, smell of winter in a still wind, theme from Spartacus by Joe Venuti.”

Sophie Lin: “toasted sesame tea. my hair. friday afternoons.”

Barb Abney: “my kids, my job, my friends and the fact that Texas is so far away!”

John Hazlett: “sobriety.”

Aldo Moroni: “CIGARETTES”

Tracy Downing: “Starbucks free wi-fi, lattes, contractors, someone to scratch my back.”

Gretchen Williams: “my bad ass yoga muscles.”

Paula Scheider: “cold beer, new couch, sleep, family, the absence of YouTube/personal video cameras when I was in college.”

Kristi Brown: “Health. Shelter. Food. Family. Sense of humor. Womanhood. Music. Safety. Life. Dance.Yoga. French fries. Men. Rain. Levon the cat.”

Rachel Christine: “film, artists, nice people, fresh air, lesbians, saltine crackers and forgiveness.”

Debbie Donovan: “my job. Febreeze. and snowy winter nights. light rail. pizza luce. hope.”

Geoffrey Berneck: “the staff at Stanford University hospital cardiac unit.”

Ginger Pinson: “being healthy, a good job, my friends, discovering all of my friends from the past on Facebook; my dog, my home, my family, my garden. Gratitude is so important. It makes you feel so much better when you are thinking about what is right, instead of what is wrong.”