A Thousand Gratitudes by Marney Ault Wasserman


Sometime in the 1980’s, I first read Dom Helder Camara’s A Thousand Reasons for Living. The book is a collection of the Brazilian priest’s most intimate reflections about the world around him and God’s presence in it – simple, short poems that were written as part of his daily practice of prayer and conversation with God.

For many years, I have wanted to write my own version of Helder Camara’s book. Now, forty years later, A Thousand Gratitudes is, for me, that book. Most of the poems are short. They tell the everyday stories of an ordinary life, evoking images of marriage, family, the church, ministry, the mountains, the water, illness, love, loss, and more. They are presented here in mostly chronological order, because that’s the way they were written, day by day, as part of a life with God.

Writing poetry has been my way of paying attention to the world around me, of making sense of my own experiences, of wrestling with spiritual life and practice. It’s how I stay anchored in gratitude, hope, and joy. It is my prayer these poems will offer you similar encouragement to live grateful, hopeful, joyful lives. —Marney Ault Wasserman


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 272
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: April, 2021
  • ISBN: 978-1-953252-19-7


Wrung Out


long air-gulping breaths
and deeply refreshing stretches
that irrigate my insides
like cool water flooding a parched field
and massage muscles
I didn’t even know I had
they wring out my entire skeletal frame
like so much wet laundry
and leave it hanging in the breeze
loose again and free
they spill air and light into my rib cage
so I have more room inside me
to breathe

each time I go
I come away feeling taller
grateful for the gift
of body and breath

2 May
Easter 2018
Santa Fe, NM


Marney Ault WassermanMarney Ault Wasserman is a retired Presbyterian pastor, who served congregations in Iowa, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona over a 38-year ministry. After nearly forty years of ministry and seventy years of living, Marney Wasserman has found her place as a theologian and a poet. She has been writing poetry since the early 1990’s, and between her poems and her preaching, claims her life’s calling as a wordsmith. The writing is an essential part of her practice of a life with God, and has been a source of strength in her current battle with pancreatic cancer. A Thousand Gratitudes is her way of giving back.

Additional information

Weight 16 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in