An Exercise In Gratitude

The past few days have been a bit rough for me.  Yesterday, my sister was in a traffic accident that injured her leg and totaled her car.  This car in particular was at one time my car and saw me through college.  I am having financial issues, which is always such a rodeo of fun.  I am having my doubts, as does anyone else, about being a freelancer.  Money’s a bit tighter than usual.

But then I started thinking, “Why am I so upset?”  My sister is lucky to only have a bruised knee out of the incident.  Traffic accidents in Montana are typically lethal with serious injury or even death.  I could have been conducting funeral preparations through blurred eyes, stinging with bitter tears.  Her airbag didn’t go off, and yet here she is, recovering well with a good sense of humor.

I need to express gratitude for this opportunity.  Even though some complications are frustrating, I still have this chance to write at last!  Four years of college education may finally have use.  I could be useful and feel useful.  I just need to jump the hurdle and carry on with the race.

Oliver Sacks, my all-time favorite author, once wrote an entire book on gratitude, aptly named Gratitude.  He writes about the wonderful chance he had to have lived in a world full of wonders.  Even though he does express sadness, his sadness is one for missing the world and lives he has known.  The final chapter emphasized the role of Sabbath in the Jewish atheist’s life: The day of Sabbath was a day of long-needed rest.  In the end, as cancer eroded his once-robust body, Oliver Sacks saw his impending death as rest from his life.  He had a great time living and gave his numerous thanks, and now he must rest.



On June 24, 2017, I entered a story slam in my town.  I had heard about this event only that morning, so I had to scramble a story together.  The topic was travel, and the genre was nonfiction.  Being a traveler with a sense of recalling true stories, my hands started talking.

What follows is the unedited story I presented at the slam.  I should declare now that I got second place.

Continue reading “Jellystone”

Into the Fray

I have stepped into the world of freelance writing to support myself as I begin applications for graduate school.  I will admit the decision was not without doubts.  I see review sites left and right blasting these freelance providers.  I step into this new world with the best map I can find.

I am doing everything I can to appear professional and competent to clients.  I have bookmarked a number of sites on good freelancing and have considered applying to various providers.

I end this brief introduction with an impromptu haiku:

I walk free, careful thoughts.

Voice warns me, “Do not step forth.”

Fie to thee! I step.