“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence.
Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”
–Henry David Thoreau in a letter to Harrison Blake (December 6, 1853)
The other night, while I was sleeping soundly, it happened. Only a few miles from where I peacefully slept, a man in his early twenties decided to get behind the wheel of a car, after he’d been drinking. He then drove into a woman’s vehicle, killing her.
People make bad decisions. People do careless and dangerous things, to themselves and to other people.
Don’t take the good things in life for granted.
I’d always wondered why…a Thursday?
It was Thanksgiving in the US and just another Thursday here in Canada when this “accident” would soon occur.
I have a few issues with American Thanksgiving. I have no problem celebrating the autumn harvest. It’s the history that is used to then whitewash why there is any celebrating going on at all that’s the problem I have. Then everyone rushes out to buy a bunch of things on Black Friday, to signal the onslaught of holiday shopping. Deals are nice, but this particular Thursday and Friday are odd days to me. It’s so easy to whitewash, when we’re not dealing with the hard stuff ourselves. A killer deal on a TV is, I’ll admit, an attractive one however.
We can convince ourselves that we would never drive drunk or lose our lives to a drunk driver. We can think that we’re just eating dinner with our families, when it’s often based on falsehoods and anything but the cold, hard, truth of reality. History is easy to push away.
I have no problem with family togetherness or with giving thanks and making a consorted effort not to take our own lives and those we love for granted. I think of and try to follow Thoreau’s words.
Everytime You Go Away – Paul Young
Every time I hear this song I think of the famous American film set during Thanksgiving, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”.
I’m thankful for those who write and speak up, be they strong female voices or men using Facebook.
The editor of
Full Grown People
is speaking up for the injustices she’s been seeing. She is one kick ass lady whom I wouldn’t want to mess with. She is tough but fair. She would clearly do anything for her family, friends, or the country she lives in and loves.
I’ve come to rely on a certain male Facebook friend’s posts on what he’s seeing going on, as scared as I’ve been for that country and our whole world lately. If there are others like him, there’s hope yet.
I’m thankful for the magic of editing.
My brother and I worked really hard again this week on editing more of our dialogue down. It feels like a great weight is lifted off the shoulders when done. I like the feeling.
We are adding little musical parts to break up our speech. This is a podcast discussing a political event, in this case, and so there is mostly talk from us. We needed to break that up by adding music, sound, and hopefully a bit of humour thrown in there too. I hope our dry sense of humours shows through.
As I sat there, listening to him coming up with beautiful guitar parts on the spot, well mostly, I was moved by the pure simplicity and yet something more complex than I understand. I add my producer’s opinion in there and soon enough we should have ourselves a third episode.
I’m thankful for another piece of music, due to my brother’s eclectic listening tastes, but of which spoke to me in a very clear and direct way.
is the name of the band and I am still learning about these guys.
I’m thankful for a thorough doctor and medications available to help treat me medically.
It’s frustrating to feel unwell for lengthy periods of time and to understand very little about why that might be.
This doctor is being very thorough and accommodating with me and I’ve seen enough doctors to know when I should be feeling grateful for one.
I’m thankful that a professor friend of mine thought to share a piece of writing with me that he’d been studying with his class and thought I might like.
was a feminist, a writer, traveler, and a brilliant and complex woman of her time.
I’m thankful that Christmas came early for me, in a way, with the delivery of a package on a Saturday morning.
It wasn’t quite from the guy in red himself, but close enough.
I’m thankful for the celebration plans being made for the end of December with an old friend.
She will be back from Ireland, for the holidays, and a girl’s night is in the works.
This makes me, simply, happy and contented, even with the craziness of these days and the hectic holiday season.
I’m thankful for the chance to catch up with another old friend.
Having months and even years go by and to still be able to talk again, like no time has passed is a nice feeling.
As always, there was a lot to catch up on, not all of it so cheerful, but a friend is always up for listening to both the bad and the good things in life, choices made or the things life just throws at you.
Skype and other forms of modern technology make this process of catching up even better and handier than ever before.
I’m thankful that my parents had a lovely evening of family, fun, and food.
For years there were many children running around. there were presents to pass out. Now, there is just the four brothers and one sister, right in the middle (my mom). Of course, there are the spouses. There is a lot of, I’m guessing, good food still. Lots of drinking and merriment. (Enough designated drivers to go around at the end of the night of course.) Loads of laughs and catching up. (There it is again.)
Families change and grow, but when they grow apart through feuds or bickering it is always a sad sad thing. It’s nice to know that my mother’s sibling relationships live on, especially at this time of year.
I’m thankful for a perspective from a writer on what Canada means to him.
Knowing My Place – Panorama Journal
I’ve had a lot of discussions over the last few weeks especially, with family and friends, and I am always wondering about my place here in Canada.
I am grateful to hear another’s thoughts. So here’s to another Thursday and to not taking any of it for granted.