As I turn my head, I see a stack of papers on the antique sewing machine cabinet beside my bed--the manuscript I read just before falling asleep. Again, I think of how grateful I am to have friends who write amazing stories that they trust me to read and respect my opinions. I remember then about my turn to post on this blog today and that I often take for granted what a privilege it is to be able to write about whatever I feel without worrying that I might be jailed for my opinions.
Just this week I read about Tal al-Mallouhi, a young Syrian woman--a blogger, poet and student, who was charged with disclosing secret information to a foreign country in her blog entries and, according to her Facebook page, was arrested in December of 2009 by the officials of the Syrian dictatorial regime and nobody knows her whereabouts. It is believed that Tal was killed after very long hours of torture and interrogation. Thoughts of her ultimate sacrifice to tell others what she felt was so important make me realize how much I take for granted and how precious and finite our time on earth really is.
And so, today, I challenge you to a writing assignment. I'd like for you to join me in thanking someone who has furthered your writing journey. Possibly she is a teacher who put an extra star on a short story along with a 'well done' comment that made your heart soar. Maybe he is a friend who tells you often and always how wonderful your writings are. Or perhaps your mom is your biggest cheerleader--the one who always knew you'd grow up to be a success.
No emails allowed. Pull out a pen and paper and take the time to show your gratitude to someone who cares about you. Give them the gift of a note they can read and reread as many times as they'd like. Give back a little to someone who encouraged you a lot.