Tonight I am grateful for people who quietly advocate for cultural change through their lifestyle, rather than through brash braying diatribes. Jill and I have been watching many documentaries and reading many articles about food and the lifestyle we are adopting, and I have realized that cultural change moves from the bottom up, not from the top (read: Washington) down. I contrast that with so many of the people I interact with via social media, who are always fighting one issue or another -mostly political, these days - tooth and nail, loudly and obnoxiously. I realize that in most cases, it is not the specific issues they are passionate about, but the need to be seen and recognized in order to make up for their own insecurities. As Jill says: "The haters are always the loudest." The folks most likely to get up-in-arms are generally the most impotent and insignificant. So then again, I am grateful for people with real passion, who make a real difference, by living a real life of change.
I am also grateful tonight for the availability of information we enjoy these days. For a very long time I have been interested in learning techniques of dying leathers for book binding from centuries past. But I had been unable to find more than passing references and vague hints from all the books I read. There is a strong tradition of proprietary craft secrets in our trade, and in the past people have been reluctant to publish those secrets. However, last night I found an in-depth explanation on-line of the technique I had been wanting to explore, and it included many aspects that no published text I had seen had ever mentioned. While I still value the tradition of taking care to whom we impart our learning (there is a phrase in Spanish: "Las técnicas, en manos de muchos, se prostituyen." Techniques, when handled by the masses, are whored-out), it is great that I no longer have to apprentice myself to a master for seven-plus years for a few snippets of valuable information.
Finally, I am grateful for the amazing ability of ground cloves to ease a toothache.
Tonight I am grateful for Pinterest. I have found so many fun ideas and delicious recipes I want to try. I love being able to pin what I've found and save the idea for when I can make the time to try all of these fantastic things!
I am grateful for my loud neighbor who comes outside several times a night for a smoke break and to let her dogs run around and go potty. She reminds me of the type of animal owner I never want to be!
I am grateful for down time. I like to be productive and I make lists (which I really don't like to do because that means I may have too much on my plate). While I believe it is important to be busy it's important to schedule in down time to re-group and prioritize and give yourself a break sometimes.