Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


a year of morning thanks

Role models

The Writer's Almanac tells me, this morning, that today is the birthday of Norman Maclean, who was born in Iowa and raised in Montana, a man who taught English at the University of Chicago for most of his life and published his first collection of stories at the age of 70, with the University of Chicago Press--which is to say, not Knopf or anyone else in New York.

Maclean's preacher/father was an old-school Scottish Presbyterian, and Maclean wrote about the old man's twin passions--for God and for fly-fishing--in a novella of his, a novella that became a highly regarded film which, like the novella itself, is titled A River Runs Through It.

It may well be that the depths of winter reminds me of my own upcoming birthday, but it's still two months off. But then, yesterday we visited the home again, where most of the talk is about what doesn't work anymore. I swear I'm not badgered by some kind of moody blues this morning, but I am, understandably, I think--because most of us are--not unconscious, for one reason or another, of my own three-score years.

So this morning I'm thankful for role models, for a man named Maclean, who wrote his first successful project when he was ten years 0lder than I am. One novella of that first collection was really, really good--very, very good. Still is.

1 comment:

trent vb said...

Of all the books I've read, that little volume is still my all-time favorite. I carry a battered dime-store paperback version with me whenever I leave town. I tuck it in right next to my Bible.