Three things I’m grateful for right now


Breath; body; song.

What are the first three things that pop into your head, in answer to the question: what are you grateful for right now? These were mine, this morning. Oddly, each feels imperfect right now, reminders of frailty rather than strength. My breath is still raspy from the remnants of the flu. My body continues to be tired. Physically, I can’t do everything that I want to do, right now; or, more precisely, not at the level of my expectations.

Expectations. Can I let them go? On every front, in every way, in order to appreciate more deeply the experiences that open to me?

Lastly, song. Why song, I wonder? This morning’s violin practice was fraught with frustration, the child ignoring rhythm, playing quarter notes as eighth notes, and I shouldn’t mind so much, but as I strummed along on my ukulele feeling like an eccentric background musician, it was driving me around the bend. No patience. We never found our rhythm. (Side note: the ukulele accompaniment is her idea; mostly we like this practice time together.) So, song? I’m trying to write a character who is a singer, and I’m struggling just now. But then I turn on the radio and hear a song like this, and I’m stopping in a parking lot and pulling out my little notebook and writing down the lyrics: “When I grow up I want to be a picture of my mother holding on to me.” (Jenn Grant, from the 2014 album Compostela, track is called “Bring Me a Rose,” and you can listen on CBC’s music site, here.)

So, song.

Imperfect as breath, imperfect as body; evidence of promise, hope, connection, life.

xo, Carrie

Birthday boy (aka my baby)
Work, beautiful work


  1. Chris Cameron

    Of course, the first two support the third. Breath + body = song. I have always found it interesting that the highest compliment anyone can pay a musician is not that he played all the right notes on the keyboard, or that he played his cello in tune. It is that he made his instrument sing.
    Please feel free to get in touch, Carrie, if there’s anything specific about singing that I might be able to help you with.

    • Carrie Snyder

      Chris, thank you for your offer! I may indeed be in touch with questions, depending on the direction the project takes. And I love your observation about playing musical instruments — it’s so true. And it expresses so well the way that a musician can seem to be one with his or her instrument, so the instrument itself becomes an extension of body and breath. I love when I’m playing the piano and I almost seem to fall inside of the rhythm and melody, like it’s happening around me and I’m witnessing it rather than inventing it.


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