At the end of the quarter, I sometimes ask my Creative Nonfiction students to write an Acknowledgments page for their book. They laugh, or roll their eyes. "What book?" Then they plunge in. We have a lot of fun reading them aloud.
Now that I'm for real getting to write an Acknowlegments page for a book, I'm finding the task a little daunting. Sitting in my friend Janet's living room Monday night, as she paged through the manuscript (yet again), I thought of all the people I could say thank you to. There are those current friends and colleagues, people at the college, people who meet with me at my friend Carolynne's dining room table. There are students. There are people like Therese and Carla and Karen and Priscilla and Paul and Glenda. And my husband and daughters! Oh, and the Writing Lab! (Huge!) And my friends Madelon and Darby who allowed me to crash their writing group for an entire spring quarter when I was on leave from teaching. And Anna! And Deborah! There are all those amazing journals and editors who have published my poems and believed in me.
Back in the living room, Janet turned the page. She woke me from my reverie and read a poem out loud. I don't know whose names I'll actually list, but hers will have to be foremost.
I think it was Reinhold Niebuhr who said that when you can't think of what to pray, "Thank you" is a good start. So, if you've been with me on this journey, if you've been one of those people who kept believing in me even when my faith wavered, thank you.