Thank You

Regardless of the politics surrounding it, its problematic history and the harm done, regardless of the consumer-culture it propagates and the toxic American idealism it sustains, Thanksgiving is still a day we celebrate in my family. Call it something different—anything you’d like—but I think there is something to this holiday that can still be of worth, and that should still matter to the people of this world.

It’s good to say thank you. Yes, yes, there is indeed a toxicity associated with this holiday and superficial displays of saying “thanks.” Please, put your pitchforks to the side for but a moment. 

Thanksgiving might be a lot of things, is doubtless a lot of things, but to me it is a reminder of family; it is a time capsule of memories dating back to since I was a little boy; it is the anticipation the night before: hearing my mother in the kitchen busily chopping onions in preparation for next morning’s breakfast; it is family football, gathered around on the couch the people who added color and depth to my life; it is Music—that of the conversational sort, discordant at times, though its dissonance a thing of magic and humanity; it is seating around a table (sometimes small, others large), the anxiety of sitting with someone other than who you want to be beside; it is food—glorious food; it is indulgence; it is sloth; it is messy, greedy; it is American; it is my childhood.

And I’m thankful for it. 

Today is one of the few times during the year when we’re pressed to express that which we are grateful for, that which we are thankful for. If you’re looking for cynicism, you’ll have no trouble locating it on this blessed, accursed holiday. But leave that be. Let it lie, I say. Let me instead tell you what the writer of this blog is thankful for.

I’m thankful for friends—even those no longer in my life. Like a revolving door they come and go, though each has taught me something, imbued me with something, left me with something that has changed and affected me. And I’m grateful for it.

I’m thankful for family. As messy as it can be, as wretchedly dysfunctional and maddening as it can be, it is something I am blessed with, something I am truly thankful for. 

I’m thankful for writing—for this blog specifically. It’s small, so very small, but ever growing—and those who support it support me, and those who read it read every line left by my pen: and to me that matters. It lets me know I have things to say worth saying. It lets me know I have a voice and reminds me how to use it. It encourages me to explore, to create, to dream and to wonder. It encourages me to be alive. I’m so very thankful I am.

For those who today means something different (perhaps something worse than my idealized version of this complicated day), I hope you find some peace today, wherever it may be, and know that you are loved, that you are doing good in bad times, and that you have more to give to this world than you could ever imagine.

You’re always welcome at our table.

Thank you, 

J.W. 

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