"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow kicks off the traditional holiday season, and I'm torn between weeping from sentiment and weeping from sadness. The tears seem to come from different directions, but perhaps they are two branches of the same river.

My love and gratitude for family and friends bubbles over into sentimentality. My sadness at what's going on in the world wounds me to my soul. Each of these feeds the other--I fear for my loved ones, because I'm aware of how much I love them, and want them to be safe, because...

I'm sure you get the idea.

The world is in such a state, such a state. There is much to fear, and of everything, I think I'm most afraid of being afraid. Churchill was right. A fearful creature assumes "fight or flight" position. If I am afraid of the world, I shall either lock all the doors and hide away, or get out the kitchen knives and prepare to meet my enemies.

And when you're afraid, everyone's your enemy.

Full disclosure: you can call me a bleeding heart. I don't like the term "liberal" any more than I like "conservative." I don't understand what those terms mean anymore. I'm a woman who sees pain in the world and wants to make it go away. I know I haven't seen the seamy underbelly of human existence, and I do believe there are people who are evil. Believe it or not, I do believe in the death penalty for some people. I'm just not willing to paint everyone with one broad stroke.

I'm also not willing to be so afraid of the world that I want to turn people away from our borders, or tag people because they belong to the "wrong" religion or in any way treat people as though they are not the same as me.

And seeing the frailty of life makes me want to keep my loved ones even closer. I want to hug a little tighter, linger a little longer, share all the moments with all the feels. I even want to spend more time with my pets. My life seems so full of blessings, I think I might explode with joy.

This Thanksgiving, I'm all sappy with gratitude for what I have, and aware of what others need. Now more than ever, I possess a deep desire to make life better in my little corner of the world, and hope I can pass the torch to someone else for their corner.

Recently, I got a snippet-of-a-snippet of a song stuck in my head. I went to the internet to find the rest of the song, and I was surprised at how timely it was.

I know we can make it if we try. 

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