Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Learning to Express Appreciation

 In the last few weeks, I have written "fan mail" to two authors and one composer.

I have very much enoyed and benefited from reading  A Farm Dies Once a Year by Arlo Crawford and I Facebook messaged him to tell him so.  His response a day or so later was to thank me for being in touch and that it was good to know his book was getting "thoughtful reads."

Mending a Tattered Faith, Susan VanZanten's book of devotions based on Emily Dickinson's poetry, was with me each night for a month before I went to sleep.  I would read a poem and puzzle about its meaning, and then after reading VanZanten's comments, I would understand and appreciate Dickinson's skill.  I emailed VanZanten and she responded saying it was her favorite book of the ones she had written.

Alfred Fedak, a graduate of Hope College,  is a composer of organ music and hymns.  I loved his arrangement of Genevan Psalm 77 in our new hymnal Lift Up Your Hearts and have used several of his works as preludes and postludes during worship at our church.  I emailed him to tell him "Thanks" and he wrote back quoting Daniel Pinkham who said that sending off one's music is like sending one's children into the world.  You let them go and hope for the best.   He was happy to hear his music was useful.

I think my appreciation was appreciated in all three cases--and in turn, I felt very affirmed by the responses I received.  It's not difficult to write an email or send a card or a Facebook message and I need to keep remembering to do so.   

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