Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Holidays are complicated and hard. That's not actually a problem statement, though. Humans the planet over have evolved societies over time that set aside special days to contemplate our relationship to the universe and each other and labeled them holy. Since those relationships are the way they are, why should we anticipate that the days we set aside to consider them should be easy and straightforward? That seems to be an unrealistic expectation.

We have all suffered through the public discourse on the 'War on Christmas" in which our culturally Christian nation(s) struggle with the erosion of their hegemony. When I was a kid, the identified problem was the commercialization of Christmas. The same people who are claiming now that they are being oppressed by the term "happy Holidays" are the same ones who cried bitter tears over stores being open on a Sunday. Now, of course, they don't want those damn un-Christian liberals interfering with their plans to mob Walmart stores on Thanksgiving.

Which brings us back to the subject of Thanksgiving. What a delightfully simple and straightforward holiday. No particular religious identity; just a day to spend with family contemplating gratitude for the good stuff. Unless you're a First Nation / Native American / Indigenous Person. Dang. Reality intrudes again with the complications of actual life and history. If you're ancestors didn't get to North America on foot, I suggest you educate yourself a little on how the First Nations think about the arrival of significant numbers of Europeans on their shores just a few centuries ago. You might not enjoy it, but you owe it to them. You can't undo the evils of the past, but you can bear honest witness. You must bear honest witness.

There. Enough finger wagging for one year. I would now like to write a little about the things for which I am grateful this year.

  • Diabetes diagnosis: Shocking, frightening, but ultimately good, since I got the disease under control and am doing well.
  • Trip to NYC: Any chance to visit the Only City That Matters is a blessing.
  • Tutankhamun Exhibit: It brought many people to Seattle who stayed with me!
  • Language Hunters: Learning this new method of teaching language has been a revolution!
  • Carmen's Surgery: My dear friend's brain surgery went well and has been an opportunity to demonstrate my friendship and commitment to her family.
  • Seirm's Trip to Vancouver: It had been more than seven years since the last major Seattle to Vancouver road trip; high time!
  • Olivia's Surgery: Doug's mother had breast cancer surgery, which went well, but is always a worry.
  • Féis Seattle 2014: And I had very little to do with producing it!
  • Wiccaning: My godson completed his year of religious education and charmed his Counsil into allowing him to continue. Softies.
  • Trip to Britain: 22 days in a row with my beloved pre-husband and he's still beloved. This trip was life-changing in many more ways than will fit into this bullet point. Will I write more about it in the future? Maybe, but you fucking Colonials won't get it anyway, so why bother?
  • Washington Area Folk Harp Society Getaway: Ending a year of music career frustrations with this out-of-the-park experience was a huge blessing.

And there we go. Long list. Complicated and truthful.

May we all give thanks and receive blessings.


1 comment:

Traepischke said...

There is nothing in the world like going home. Home for me is Aberdeenshire. I never met Mum's Mum. She passed two years before I was born, and her Dad passed a few months after I was born. But I have cousins there, and got to meet Mum's oldest sister before she passed, and everything about it is just, quite simply, home. I am grateful that I have such friends as you, dear Seumas. You have brightened my life in more ways than I can ever express.