It's Thanksgiving day. I've just finished switching the laundry over, baking breakfast bars, cleaning the bathroom, compiling a playlist of covers to learn for upcoming gigs and texting with my honey. Now, as I settle into a quiet afternoon of solitude I feel moved to express to everyone, and myself that I'm okay, really.
I went out last night for some live music and sparkling camaraderie. Naturally, folks were asking one another about plans for the holiday. When I answered that I'll be spending the day alone, some looked really concerned or sad.
I don't let them get beyond, "Oh no" before I tell them that it's really okay. It wasn't my original plan to be by myself but once I realized that would be the case, I settled into the idea with enthusiasm.
It's not that I'm above loneliness or sadness. I'm not without my depressed times. Just not today!
At this point, I hope that we can all accept that, as kids, we were fed a very skewed story about how the Europeans came to be in this beautiful country we call home. We were led to believe that the Native Americans and the Pilgrims sat down to a legendary meal that symbolized harmonious, peaceful coexistence. That's what I was taught anyway. I can still see the illustration in my 4th grade social studies textbook; stooping, barely civilized, half naked 'indians' bearing crude but overflowing platters of squash and corn in gratitude to their white, big buckled, bebonneted overlords. The all important turkey at the center of it all; no doubt shot by one of those strange horn shaped barreled muskets.
For much of my childhood and teen years, holidays were like a minefield with dessert. Too many of us know that when there's an alcoholic/addict parent figure at the helm, holidays have the potential to be quite surreal and nightmarish compared to the idyllica steeped in commercialism that we've been consuming for quite some time now. I didn't question any of it. Sure, it makes sense; next to those shiny, well waxed images my family is broken and freakish. I'll never know what it's like to really relax into the idea of gratitude and enjoy myself. Just give me a day off to eat myself numb along with my dysfunctional brood and whoever else happened to end up at the table.
Of course, that was then and this is now. Anyone who knows me also knows that my default is humor and love. It's never my intention to take away from the life-giving notion of gratitude and generosity. I'll smile big and love your holiday pics on Facebook. I'll vibe huge waves of love and compassion in your general direction. I really do love the psychic peace that rises up in our humanity this time of year
As a healing, mindful adult, I do love a good gathering of friends and family; any old time!
Just not today. Today is just for me. And I'm grateful.