|was turkey on the first Thanksgiving menu?|
Photo by J. Harrington
To be clear, although I'm thankful and grateful for my family, friends, pets, health and, not least, the fact that I'm still here to enjoy them, I'm also particularly thankful these days for writers such as Rebecca Solnit, who wrote (and updated) Hope in the Dark, and Terry Tempest Williams for living and writing Finding Beauty in a Broken World. We can definitely be thankful for such insight and guidance as we seem to be in the midst of that Chinese curse of living in interesting times. Although I'm inclined to accept the version of the story that the Pilgrims came to North America to escape religious persecution and discrimination in England, I'll be particularly full of thanksgiving on the day that the citizens of the United States stop dragging that kind of baggage with them and paying it forward. Thanksgiving is a holiday to be shared with family, friends, and especially those who differ from us and those who have been less lucky than many of us are. Think about how much of what you have is largely an accident of where, when and to whom you were born. Can any of us really claim credit for that (John Calvin notwithstanding)?
How wonderful to be understood,to just sit here while some kind personrelieves you of the awful burdenof having to explain yourself, of havingto find other words to say what you meant,or what you think you thought you meant,and of the worse burden of finding no words,of being struck dumb . . . because some bright personhas found just the right words for you—and youhave only to sit here and be gratefulfor words so quiet so discerning they seemnot words but literate light, in whichyour merely lucid blossoming grows lustrous.How wonderful that is!And how altogether wonderful it isnot to be understood, not at all, to, well,just sit here while someone not unkindlyis saying those impossibly wrong things,or quite possibly they’re the right thingsif you are, which you’re not, that someone—a difference, finally, so indifferentit would be conceit not to let it pass,unkindness, really, to spoil someone’s fun.And so you don’t mind, you welcome the umbrageof those high murmurings over your head,having found, after all, you are grateful—and you understand this, how wonderful!—that you’ve been led to be quietly yourself,like a root growing wise in darknessunder the light litter, the falling words.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.