Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What Are You Thankful For?

Happy Thanksgiving friends and supporters of VSA Texas! As this is the official day for giving thanks, we would like to share with you what we are thankful for:

I am thankful for the amount of creativity I have in my life. As every artist knows, it is really hard to make your living just by your artwork alone. So I must have a job. But I don’t mind at all, because I love my job. I get a chance to interact with artists and writers and dancers and singers on a daily basis and that makes my life more enriched and fuels my creativity when I do get a chance to create my own art. So thank you to all of the artists out there. Keep it up!
April Sullivan creating a yarn painting during the East Austin Studio Tour. Wearing a t-shirt designed by artist Steve Connor. (Photo taken by Jennifer M. Ramos

I struggle every year at this time to name what it is I am thankful for. I was raised in a home where we didn’t talk about our feelings, and what is Thanksgiving about if it isn’t about your feelings? But, because I have been given the assignment to cast out into the air my thankfulness, I will. I am thankful I have two brothers who love me warts and all, and who didn’t kill me those many years ago, although they tried their best. I am thankful for good friends who listen to my rantings and know that I just really, really care about all things vulnerable and powerless and want the world to be a better place. I am thankful that I have a challenging but rewarding job, working with people whom I admire and respect. I am thankful, although Austin is changing and growing in ways that I don’t like, that it still is one of the best places to live when you dislike the cold and snow and ice. And, finally, I am thankful that I still have all my five senses in good working order, that my intellect and cognition continue to keep me upright and forging ahead, and that the absence of TV and other media from my home has kept my sanity somewhat intact. Although some would question that last one.
Celia and her trusty steed in Iceland earlier this year

5 Things I’m Thankful for:

  • Dogs! Because of their ears. I love to pet a dog’s ears! Dog ear therapy!
  • The Instacart app. Delivering groceries to my house? Way worth it!
  • People who get right to the point
  • My support system (aka Mom)
  • My boss for her accommodating nature (she lets me sleep at work!!)

A German Shepherd puppy with ears forming a triangle over its head peers over a fence.
A gray and white basset hound with huge outstretched ears like an elephant stares straight at the camera.

First and foremost I am thankful for parents who taught me the golden rule, to embrace diversity, and to value giving to those who are hurting and especially those who are spiritually depleted. I am also thankful for being accepted at VSA Texas by such fun loving and conscientious individuals that raise me up to be a better person and help raise my awareness of folks with different needs. A special shout out to an amazing brother that challenges me to cook better, read more, take better photographs, and be good to myself. And even though he thinks he's right about everything, he usually has pretty good reasoning to substantiate his rightness. Darn he is so witty. Of course there are other family and friends that always provide me with wonderful sources of entertainment and wittiness as well, including play time with my great nephew. I am thankful for my theatre family and my film family who amazingly I still know throughout the years and we still pick up where we left off. Lastly I cannot thank enough the brave and courageous women that went before me to pave the way towards equality for women, those suffragettes, those in the background that fought the way for me to vote. I am grateful for the freedoms I have and hope to continue to have. I hope I can still fight the good fight for freedoms for everybody and am grateful again to my parents, that through their wisdom I learned to think for myself, make my mistakes, and make my choices knowing I would one day understand the wisdom in them.
VSA Texas staff members pose atop the snow-covered Great Wall of China with the help of a
choose-your-own-background phone app.
VSA Texas staff with the addition of new Development Director Janelle line up before a dozen flip charts posted on a white wall at the 2016 staff retreat.

I am thankful for my new home and even more for surviving another move with the added stress of remodeling that home for accessibility. Now that we're all moved in, I am happy to say it was well worth the wait and I finally live in a home designed with my needs in mind! I am also thankful for my creativity and for the people and organizations (VSA included) that consistently provide opportunities for me to express that creativity. Last, as with every other year, I am thankful for my family, friends, co-workers, personal care attendants, and I hope to add a dog and a new wheelchair to the list sometime during the next year!
Eric and friend Ryan perform a song at the VSA TX/CTD-sponsored Lion and Pirate open mic
(Photo courtesy of Malvern Books)

And last but certainly not least, on behalf of everyone here at VSA Texas, we would like to thank all of our generous friends and supporters – be they donors, teaching artists, contractors, volunteers, program participants and their families, or members of our statewide community of artists with disabilities and veterans. Your support in whatever form you express it means the world to us!

Okay, enough blogging for us! We want to know what you are thankful for! So if you can spare a moment on your turkey day, please leave us a comment below and tell us what you cherish most.

1 comment:

  1. I'm thankful for VSA and OMOD for giving me the gift of self expression