I’m thankful for so many things.
First, for my daughter. The best thing to ever happen to me is being the father of this beautiful, radiant young woman.
I’m thankful for my good health.
I’m thankful for light; for the English language; for olive oil; Thoreau; letters, both writing and receiving; pencils; walking; legal pads; travel; reading; Hemingway; museums; laughing; storms; Paris; writing; birds; learning; the ocean.
For funny women, laughing women; the French language; gardening; poetry; outdoor showers; Maine; surfcasting; Willa Cather; good food; Flaubert’s letters; the moon; The Great Gatsby; Southern food/soul food.
For my Smith-Corona Galaxie II manual typewriter; the female body; cooking; my first apartment in New York City on Tenth Street; research; rock climbing; music; M.F.K. Fisher; Giotto; books; van Gogh; French bookstores; the smell of a Parisian morning; the sound of rain; dogs; Henry James’ critical writings; New York City; driving and walking down country roads; Isak Dinesen; fall, winter, spring, summer: the four seasons; master/student relationships; opera; the light in Provence.
For salt air; Ralph Ellison; Velázquez; Verdi; a good baguette; my sister; snow falling down; road trips; going to sleep when I’m exhausted; tea; kayaking; Van Morrison; the Frick Museum; the Italian language; my bicycle; Michelin maps; François Truffaut; tomatoes; my daughter’s laugh; honeysuckle; tall, slim pine trees; New Directions paperbacks; Tennessee Williams.
For moist earth; women’s backs; old docks; going barefoot; etymology; women in summer dresses; James Baldwin; friendship; biscuits; work; identifying plants and trees; New Orleans; porches; the songs of birds; Balzac; garlic; Cole Porter; breasts; women’s rich, lavish hair; West Fourth Street in New York City; Paul Lynde; libraries; the smell of hay; my daughter’s gorgeous smile; sweat; the Seine; Rome; the stillness of early morning; Pablo Neruda’s poetry.
For surfing; cross-country skiing; overcoming fear; deep, pristine snow; water; wood, the smell and feel of it; herons and egrets; trains; Deb Attoinese; my struggle to make my book, French Dirt, the best book I could write; for peeing outside; a simple desk, a simple chair; my brother; the rejuvenation sleep provides; Jean Rhys; coming home to someone you love; wetlands.
For a cast iron skillet; Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers; a good dictionary; lovemaking; Big Joe Turner; Evelyn Waugh; the Cevennes; rock ‘n’ roll; full lips; seeing my daughter born, holding her for the first time; Joseph Conrad; Marcel Pagnol; Chester, my dog, RIP; my memory; pecan pie; Ms. Booth, Ms. Benson, Ms. Shugrue, Ms. Carley, all the teachers who were so kind to my daughter.
For Langston Hughes; Greenwich Village; warblers; kindness; pastrami; watching my daughter play basketball and softball; bookstores; belly laughs; breathing; Lucinda Williams; the smell of suntan lotion at the beach; dusk; coffee; Ray Charles; brilliant sunsets; Elizabeth Bishop; Central Park; Wellfleet oysters; stretching; friends’ voices; making up stories for my daughter when she was young; affection; holding hands with a woman you love; the release of crying; John Lennon; truth.
And, especially this Thanksgiving, for Gaywynn. For us.
Wonderful, Richard. I'm sure you're inspiring your readers to consider their own lists of things for which to be thankful.
What a thoughtful, thought provoking newsletter--oh, all those wonderful names, so many from yesteryear. Richard Goodman's article always stir the images in my mind.