I think I spent the same amount of care writing my Gratitude page for Intention Tremor as I did any of the poems or flash essays or other works included there.
This Thanksgiving, even in 2020, I am grateful for so many things.
- I’m still healthy and safe (no relapses, no COVID-19!)
- My family is still healthy and safe, too
- I’ve made it through my first year as a raised bed vegetable gardener with mostly wins to show for it
And, of course, my first book has finally made it out into the world. This matters to me in so many ways I don’t think I could easily articulate. I’ve been writing for over 50 years; this book is poised to open up the door for other publishing opportunities (even during a pandemic).
I didn’t do it alone. Some people I can practically call my family helped me along the way, and others I’ve never met in real life fueled me with their own living inspirations.
So I’ll share my thank yous from Intention Tremor here as a way to extend my Thanksgiving from beyond the feasting table. When possible, I’ve included links to these individuals (something that I can’t do in a physical book!) so that you can visit their pages and maybe even buy their books or services, as well.
No book happens in a vacuum, and I must give thanks in particular to the following people for supporting my work on this project and out in the world:
To Mike, Amanda, and Megan Sellman, the finest and most creative family one could hope for.
To my second family at Centrum (especially the YAWP): in particular, Michele Bombardier, Wendy Call, Sayantani Dasgupta, Jordan Hartt, and Elizabeth Thorpe.
To my third family at Health Union, especially: Lorene Alba, Alina Ahsan, Tim Armand, Dave Bexfield, Stephanie Buxhoeveden, Olivier Chateau, Cathy and Gary Chester, Shelby Comito, Jennifer and Dan Digmann, Kim Dolce, Lisa Emrich, Noel Forrest, Devin Garlit, Christie Germans, Laura Kolaczkowski, Kerri MacKay, Kelly Miller, Nicole Lemelle, Emily Rhoades, Ashley Ringstaff, Kristin Schwoebel, Kathy Reagan Young, and Kristine Zerkowski.
To the powerful and inspiring writer/activists Glenda Bailey-Mershon, Jen Culkin, Kelly Davio, Yvonne deSousa, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Nicola Griffith, Tara Hardy, Charis Hill, and Alice Wong.
To Deanna Kirkpatrick and Amy Gurowitz for teaching me to laugh at MS. To Stuart Schlossman for his intrepid advocacy. To Janis Segress for showing me what grace looks like. To John Willson for gently prying open my poet’s brain. To Kristy Webster for “getting it” on so many levels. To Bill Ransom for confirming it’s okay to “just do the thing.” To Megan Snyder-Camp for finding the nexus of stars, magic, science, and the ineffable. To Pam Houston for teaching “the 82 percent true memoir.”
To my neurologists, Drs. Mariko Kita and Lucas McCarthy, for having my back and listening to me, and to my osteopath Dr. Robert Bethel for being the best doctor I have ever had.
To Lana Ayers, a bottomless thank you for making space for my story, encouraging me to tell it, and really, so much more. Let’s get Mora’s.
To two unforgettable writers gone from this plane: Waverly Fitzgerald and Jay Lake.
To the arts-savvy Accelerated Cure Project for its ongoing effort to promote the creative work of people with MS.
Finally, to all my chronic peers who have the audacity to rise every day to live their best lives: this world doesn’t deserve your infinite light, enduring humor, and rooted strength.—TKS