Happy 4th of July, dear readers! I hope you’re enjoying a day of peace and relaxation with people you like wherever you are in the world. Here in the States communities are celebrating the approval of the Declaration of Independence with hometown parades, backyard BBQ, family dinners, and fireworks among other things. Today I got to spend a delightful day with my family, some of who braved Chicago, IL traffic to be here. If that’s not love I don’t know what is. Being the kind of people we are we chose to celebrate freedom and pursue happiness by downloading free e-books from Gutenberg.org before going to the most vegetarian friendly BBQ night in the Midwest. It was lovely.
I find myself counting my blessings tonight as the sun sets on the 236th birthday of the U.S.A. I’m a registered voter and an educated woman working in a safe environment doing scientific research living with electricity and a spouse I love that everyone in the government acknowledges I married. I have food in the cupboard, clean water at the tap, and access to all the books I want to read; one way or another regardless of whom they might offend I can pretty much find and read whatever I want. Books are one of the most profound symbols of freedom to me. Just thinking about all the people in the world who don’t have access to books will bring me to tears faster than thinking about dead puppies. I’m already looking ahead to Banned Books Week 2012, I love that the theme will be “30 Years of Liberating Literature.” Tonight I find myself feeling profoundly humble and grateful for all these blessings that are only possible because a lot of people I will never know or meet have given their lives one way or another whether on the battlefield or in the streets or in the capital throughout history in the name of freedom. Yeah, things aren’t perfect, I will never pretend that they are, but things could be so much worse and it is all too easy to forget the good things while thinking about the “to-do list,” for the world.
One very humble thing I find myself especially grateful for tonight in addition to everything else I already listed is having a room of my own ~65% assembled. The freedom of space, of one’s own room to plant oneself and create, is one I have not had for quite awhile. I find myself very keen to read A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (a banned author) soon as I continue my summer reading list. Having been a guerrilla writer and crafter for so long, having to set up and take down my laptop, my writing notes, and my sewing machine so many times, living out of tote bags and briefcases— I find myself staring in wonder at my desk and sewing table. I have a place. When I take off on flights of fancy in future I can do so from a steady launchpad organized to facilitate that purpose. It is a marvel for which I am grateful and I look forward to using it soon; hopefully I will be back here blogging with more book reviews, fiction, and craft items made in my space. On that happy thought I leave you tonight; here’s hoping that wherever you are and whatever you’re dealing with in your life you take a moment to lean back, close your eyes, and think about what you’re thankful for, large or small, so that you go to sleep with a smile. Happy Independence Day, dear readers, let freedom ring.