One of my favorite newspaper columnists has a Thanksgiving column that has been reprinted more or less year after year for nearly two decades (or at least, that’s as far as the Chronicle’s online archives reveal). Along with talking about why, in a sea of holidays, Thanksgiving is the one that gets his wholehearted support, he pays tribute to an annually changing list of people who’ve been an essential part of his world that year.
I thought I’d start a similar, LWON-inspired list here, covering the people who I’ve come to realize have shaped my world in the last year or so. Please contest my choices and/or add your own below.
Let the first round of thanks go to those who make our crap technology (and a special salute to the mastermind behind the Coby portable DVD player, which I bought after reading Tom’s post, that makes the six-hour drive to grandma’s house possible). Thank you, also, to those who use new technology to rock the universe.
Thanks to those who are passionate about protecting nature—and passionate enough to disagree on how best to do it. Thank you to skeptics, whether physics reporters or otherwise, who keep our eyes open. And thanks to the people who make discoveries that seem almost magical.
To the builders of beautiful buildings, and to those who make these buildings come to life, sometimes by riding bicycles through the halls.
Thanks to the people who’ve helped build our own lives, too. Our parents. Our children. Other people’s parents and other people’s children. Our friends, both here on earth and here in our memories. Thank you to dogs and their fine noses. Thank you to everyone and everything we love, those that fill our hopeful, heartbreaking worlds with meaning.
A big thank you to the Abstruse Goose, expert at levity and last-minute rescues. And to the readers of LWON, thank you. To misquote Bryan Adams from the soundtrack of that classic movie, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, everything we do, we do it for you (and sometimes, that “you” is us, too). Bryan Adams is Canadian, and here’s to the Canadians, too. And the Brits, and those living near the Thames. And to you, wherever you are reading from, because you make the world seem smaller in a good way.
Thanks to those who make pictures of the universe, “which looks like it’s full of courage and faith in the endless dark mountains that are its foundation.” Thanks to the writers whose words that can come together like that and, as a professor of mine once said, make you rise up from the page and break into song. Thank you to the poets. And thank you to those out there who, whether it be through Drosophila or dendrites, seismographs or string theory, work in the poetry between what we know and what we can almost imagine. Thanks for listening.