I’d been in a serious quandry about the topic I’d chosen for this blog piece. Truth be told, the initial subject matter disturbed me so much, that I found myself unable to sit long enough to compile my thoughts in a way that would compel me to continue beyond the first paragraph. Have you ever been distressed to the point of immobility? It’s extremely uncomfortable and frustrating. Why? I have to say it was a combination of things: I’d been reading The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in The Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, and if that wasn’t enough, I’d discovered the Malcolm X and James Baldwin debate on You Tube, along with a few other recordings from that era. Add to that, various news reports and fb shares of stories about things I have no control over, but were increasingly successful in wearing down my personal faith in my fellow man.
In the midst of obsessing over our collective impending doom, in my unproductive restlessness; I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized that this coming week, millions of households all over America will open their hearts and doors to welcome friends, family and in some cases, strangers in a mass celebration of thankfulness. I can’t even begin to express my relief when I came to the conclusion that I actually had something to share that allowed me to move my mind out of that dark, scary place.
I gave serious thought to what I am most grateful for. I realized that while I’m thankful for the things most people are: family, good health, shelter, work, etc. what really tops my list is this: Memories. Specifically, memories that are an evocation of joy and laughter. Not to say all of my memories are good, or funny; but the ones that are, never fail to transport me to a specific moment in my personal history and instantly I feel a spark of giddiness that will either bring a smile to my lips or on occasion, full blown hysterical laughter! I am SO very grateful for that one intangible gift. While many are collectively responsible, I am most grateful to my mother for her understanding while we were growing up, our thoughts would ultimately lead us back and she did her best to make those times, well….memorable.
So, while you are all sitting down with your family and friends on thursday, even if it’s with those you ONLY sit down with once a year; be it your crazy sister, brother, klepto Uncle, tipsy Aunt or what have you, make good memories. It may be the “bank” that you have to visit for a withdrawal in the future. It might be what saves you from emotional bankruptcy.
I’m wishing you all a Happy, Safe, Joyous and Memorable Thanksgiving.