Yesterday on Thanksgiving Day – 2012 – as I thought about what brings joy to my life – I feel fortunate that I have received the gift of writing time at this point in my life. And as I think about what I treasure, so much delights me. My heart fills with gratitude for my dear family and wonderful friends. My home and garden give me joy. And among the intangible treasures that I especially value are those moments of awareness – of the gift of time for reflection – and time for writing.
I appreciate the time I have been given to nurture my writing talents and to grow in understanding the complexities of the writing process. I am filled with wonder at the opportunity to examine challenges and reflect upon my soul’s progress. And I am so happy to share what I can with others.
I’m reminded of Sophy Burnham’s wise reflections on gratitude in the writer’s life – in her book, For Writers Only. She writes, “In the privacy of their most secret hearts, most writers, artists, actors, and musicians believe that their talent is a gift that comes from beyond the self, crashing over them unexpectedly–with joy. It is received, therefore, with awe and humility.”
Burnham goes on to say, “Occasionally one will speak out unembarrassed by the thought of grace, except she knows that the blessing, this talent, must be treasured and nurtured, worked at, sought out…if only she knows how. And therefore it is not to be taken lightly, not cast before pig’s feet or held aloft to the derision of people who don’t understand. That is why many artists speak of it only amongst themselves, secretly, one on one, in quiet voices, fearful of losing it, grateful and awed.”
Czeslaw Milosz said, “I felt very strongly that nothing depended on my will, that everything I might accomplish in life would not be won by my own efforts, but given as a gift.”
And today – once again – I give thanks! And I wish all good things will come to pass.
Jan Bowman’s work has appeared in Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, Broadkill Review, Trajectory, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes, and others. She won the 2011 Roanoke Review Prize for Fiction. Her stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories and a story was a finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest. She is working on two collections of short stories and currently shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection. She has nonfiction work pending publication in Spring 2013 Issues of Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers. Learn more at:
Website – www.janbowmanwriter.com
Blogsite – http://janbowmanwriter.blogspot.com