I have a very dear friend, N., who evacuated safely from New Orleans. Of course, during Katrina, phoning a friend from New Orleans was impossible, so I just crossed my fingers until I heard.
N. decided he’d had enough of the South after that and moved back home to Massachusetts. Only to be there in the middle of the worst flooding the region has had in decades, prompting an email from me; “Love you to death, please don’t move to New York.”
So, you know where my friend lives? Danvers.
You know what? I’m tired of being thankful that N. is okay.
Okay, so it’s Thanksgiving. I like it. Nice, secular holiday, suffused with Americana and the abuse of native peoples. Okay, but other than that.
I am thankful for:
Food on the table, of which there is always plenty.
Telephones and Internet connections which allow us to communicate with one another and touch those who are physically far from us.
Democrats in a majority in the House and Senate.
Freedom of religion, imperfect though it is, threatened though it is, that allows me to celebrate my Paganism right here, in public, under my real name, without fear of reprisal.
A wonderful, diverse, insane family, in all its neurotic glory.
The ability to discuss, to understand, to re-group, to ask forgiveness, to be forgiven, and to forgive others.
Babies. Damn, they’re cute.
Most of all, I am thankful for those odd moments when I suddenly realize that whatever is on my mind, whoever I am in this moment, whether I feel good or bad, that I am happy. Maybe it’s a flock of birds overhead, or a light breeze, or just the right kind of sunshine, but I can hate my life totally and have that moment and know that being alive is good enough, and look, here it is, and I’m alive.