This is an easy one.
I am grateful to my wife, the very fact that she is my wife. One reason I fell in love with her was her ability to keep my ego in check, but the fact of the matter is that she is my biggest supporter, often rising to my defense even when I don’t. She has kept me laughing for more than 30 years. When I look at who I was 30 years ago, I am constantly amazed that she was even attracted to me.
I am grateful for my son. Children teach you many things about life, the most important being that you are temporary. I am grateful that my son is smart, witty, and kind. I am grateful that teaching at the high school level for as long as I did, and working with young people in the theatre and GHP, taught me about letting go. I think I have done a lot better in that regard than many parents.
I am grateful to my profession, where I get to go to work every day and do battle with the forces of ignorance. I get to take a child’s mind and help it realize there’s an empty shape inside it, and how to fill it. I am grateful, you can’t know how grateful, that my school is a good school, full of smart, competent teachers and smart, supportive leadership. I’ve been where that’s not true, and I will never tolerate that kind of evil again.
I am grateful for the role theatre has played in my life. It has brought me great joys, great frustrations, and great triumphs as we worked together to make the thing that is not and share it with an audience. I am looking forward to Coriolanus for that very reason. Yes, my heart sank a bit as I wrote in all those Wednesdays and Saturdays between now and October 25, but I know that it is going to be a marvelous adventure.
I am grateful to my friends, the Lichtenbergians, the Lacunians, the GHPers. One of my true concerns about leaving the theatre behind was that I had no friends in my life outside the actual production of a show. This has not been the case, as this and other blogs go to show. These people have kept my mind working, served as audience and kibbitzers for my work, and have been supportive in ways I don’t think they realize.
I am grateful to music, for everything it brings to my life. I am about to plunge back into my own music, for better or for worse, and I tender that gratitude as an offering to the gods to take it easy on me.
I am grateful to GHP and the role it has played in my life, for over half my life. From attending as a student, where Diane Mize changed my life forever by showing me exactly what the creative process was and could be; to teaching in the program, where Lonnie Love, the director, taught me how the program is deliberately put together to produce its effect on students; to heading up the instructional program itself, a life-altering experience and responsibility indeed: the whole time has been the most incredibly enriching and challenging process in my life. Every time I think about not doing another summer, I realize that I’m not through with GHP yet, nor GHP with me.
In a similar vein, I am grateful for the life of the mind. Ideas are important, expression of those ideas is important, and sharing of those expressions is important. Books, music, theatre, film, the web, these blogs, all are part of the Great Conversation, and I am grateful to be invited to take part.