I choose not to look upon the fact that I am healthy, have food in my refrigerator and have clean water to drink as givens. They are not givens for so many people in our world. The fact that I am safe and (relatively) sane are not givens. That I was born into a family who loves me and into a country not ravaged by war are not givens. It is impossible to name all of the circumstances in my life I’ve taken for granted. All of the basic needs I’ve had met, all of the friendships and job opportunities and financial blessings and the list, truly, is endless. The fact that I am breathing is a miracle, one I too rarely stop to appreciate.
I’m stopping, right now, to be grateful for everything I am and everything I’ve been given. I’m stopping, right now, to be grateful for every pleasure and every pain that has contributed to the me who sits here and writes these words.
It is easy to say I am thankful for the sweet and beautiful things in life: flower gardens, ice cream cones, diamond rings, dances under moonlight, children’s laughter, birdsongs, and the like. The challenge is recognizing things of value in the dark, sour, uglier parts of life. But if you look hard enough, you will find that even tough times offer pearls worthy of gratitude.
So even though Grandpa’s life has closed its final chapter, the story that he embodied continues each time we take a handful of dirt to check moisture levels or turn our head at the sound of the wind shifting directions before a storm. It lives on as we give thanks for the abundance that we have, whatever it looks like. It lives on in every decision we make that puts someone else first.
―Heidi Barr, Prairie Grown: Stories and Recipes from a South Dakota Hillside
I knew I should be grateful to Mrs Guinea, only I couldn’t feel a thing. If Mrs. Guinea had given me a ticket to Europe, or a round-the-world cruise, it wouldn’t have made one scrap of difference to me, because wherever I sat – on the deck of a ship or a street cafe in Paris or Bangkok – I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.
―Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.
Our second year went by so quickly! Here’s the first look back, featuring our most viewed original art of 2014.
2014 was a great year at synkroniciti. We held two successful Open Mics in the Houston area and saw growth in readership, artistic interaction and community building. We’ve begun to archive original poetry and art, and last week we posted Chapter 1 of Beloved’s Journey, the first novel to be serialized on the site. I am continually surprised and excited at the new developments and turns and awed to see synkronicitiencouraging and changing the lives of people who come in contact with it.
Thank you for being part of all of this and Happy Holidays! I look forward to sharing 2015 with you.
Here are the most viewed works made by synkroniciti and featured on the blog in 2014. Please click on the images to view the blogposts. I look forward to featuring some collaborative pieces next year!
We all have struggles in our lives, areas in which we are lacking. Why are some of us so resilient?
This is the first of three poems which were commissioned by Houston Grand Opera for Houston Artists Respond, based on videos from Baker Ripley Community Center in Houston, Texas. I selected the stories of three women who immigrated to the United States from Latin America and interwove their experience with my feelings.
This poem tells the tale of a woman from Nicaragua who received her first pair of shoes at the age of sixteen, a hand-me-down from her mother’s employer. Never did a pair of plastic shoes bring about such joy, although that joy was laced with trial, as you will see. Nubia’s humor and strength of character are inspiring. How many of us, who I daresay have enjoyed more advantages, are as grateful as she is?