Thanksgiving 2017

It’s 5:13 am, Thanksgiving 2017.  I am filled with gratitude and look forward to the crowd of voices coming my way in several hours.  There will be baby voices.  There will be voices that have been around for more than eight decades.  There will be  the presence of loved ones whose breath has become air.

This is the fourth year my husband and I have hosted.  We enjoy each year as there is always an important insight and life-affirming lesson waiting for us.  We struggle each year with all the details and suggest this one is our last.  We are clear about this – we are creating a family Thanksgiving, not a party.  Yet, the bigger the family, the more it feels like a party.  Still, I cringe when anyone calls it that and suspect some relatives do it just to make me cringe.  I could be wrong.

Philip Burke celebrates Thanksgiving with fellow Buddhists.  Can we join? I wonder.

Philip is a painter whose work is widely recognizable.  His twin brother is married to my cousin, which is how we are acquainted.  He gets an invitation to our Thanksgiving as we want my cousin’s husband to know we love his family, which is our family, because we are a universal family, although I’m not sure how everyone is the world will fit around our table.

I wrote a play once – Fine Arp! – in which a character briefly wished a painter dead so her painting would increase in value.  This play is not about Philip (although I did use him as the artist she wished dead) and the play is not about me (although we own a Philip Burke original).  I thought Philip might find the play funny.  He didn’t.  I needed an artist so I picked the one in closest range and it happened to be a him, a man I wish many happy fruitful years of life.

The stars are shining bright this morning outside my window and I think I see Suzanne’s sparkly smile, my Grandma’s almost-black brown eyes, Papa’s big ears, and Jody’s long brown braids of the 70’s.

It will be a perfect Thanksgiving.  It always is.

We enjoy a mature respectful and fun relationship with each other as we continue to discover healthy ways.

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On Writing

Some people call me a writer.  I love it.  I don’t call myself a writer.  I say “I write.”

I barely take myself seriously as a human, much less a writer.  I’m very serious about being a whiff of light making a brief appearance as a human on planet earth.  What does that even mean?

I know.  I’ll try to explain.

This might sound crazy but I believe every human is born with everything she needs for a beautiful life. How can that be?  No food!  No water!  No education!  No money!  Right.  That baby’s got it all.  I can’t explain any better than that because the truth is…hold on…that baby doesn’t really need her human body.

When my daughters were born, I looked at them and thought…it’s all there.  Just like the whole apple tree and all the apples exist in the apple seed.  It’s all there.  And so, I got very busy tending the soil doing everything I could to make a good and rich place for those seeds to grow and flourish.  My daughters are now beautiful loving and creative adult women and that’s between them and God, as it was from the beginning.

Must I write?  Yes.  So call me a writer or don’t.  It’s all true.