Gratitude, Self-Doubt, and a Dog

A question was posed by blogger “Clarabelle” this morning about gratitude. What does gratitude feel like to me? While you toss that around in your own head for a few minutes, or visit her blog right here: Clarabelle, I will explain how I arrived at my answer.

My mission was to write an incredibly fabulous, poetic, and unique piece that would fetch large audiences who would all be in agreement about my brilliance. It would make people wonder how, or if, a mere human could create such perfection. They would argue that the author must be a team, as even the greatest wordsmith could never encompass such complexity in plain language. It would read as if it had always been written, always existed, and was just waiting for the right moment to be unveiled.

I sat there, at my desk, in a Mexican poncho, one slipper, drinking the sludgy, chalky bottom of very strong coffee.

While I waited for Brilliance to begin, Self-Doubt stopped by with breaking news. Self-Doubt couldn’t wait another moment to tell me that trying to fill a box for twenty years is just stupid, writing about it in a blog is even stupider, that I am my only audience, and that an illiterate child is more skillful at written language than I.

Whomp, whomp.

I closed my laptop. I replaced my slipper with two walking shoes, the Mexican blanket with a jacket, and filled my cup with coffee and cream. I set out for a walk, just me and my dog. I thought about Clarabelle’s question of gratitude. I thought about the beautiful red autumn leaves, the salty smell of ocean air, how it makes my hair feel, how Amy Hempel’s writing is so perfect and precise. I thought how truly happy my dog was to sniff the fallen leaves as he looked up at me with admiration and a wagging tail. I stood still, waves crashed, clouds slung low, a stranger smiled at my happy dog. I was so incredibly thankful for that moment.

Although I am not a seasoned professional writer, and many a novice is far more masterful than me, no one before me has ever created this combination of words. No one before me has experienced the beauty of the moment which inspired them. It is beautiful in and of itself.

Clarabelle, I thank you.

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