It is the week of Thanksgiving, the formal beginning of what we call the holidays in my country. This year, we are not completely celebrating the holiday. Sam, my trans kid who is in their senior year of college and their partner Mav have requested that we not celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional way. Because the traditional way carries a created narrative about what happened between the people of the land we call America now and the people who arrived and conquered it.
I appreciate Sam and Mav’s reluctance to participate in a narrative that erases histories and changes stories to create a mythology that is more palatable to our everyday lives. I so appreciate, also, their desire to create new narratives with a new consciousness.
Narratives and story making.
It is not about not being grateful. We are cooking and eating lovely meals. I am baking, which I love to do. But we are creating a new narrative around how to celebrate gratefulness.
Within the greater context.
For my country, to celebrate being thankful is lovely – and there is more depth when we are with it in the context of the gentle and loving history of this country as well as the brutality.
On a personal level, it is the same. This holiday – holy day – is about celebrating community and family, too. For me, this celebration deepens when the larger context of a family history that is not sugar-coated or changed. That includes all that is lovely and tender as well as all the difficult and even brutal parts of our families.
Which, for me, expands something. When I can be with my family history with all its difficulties, with all the difficulties, too, that I created in the family [because I have], and include the beauty and the love, then my heart sings. Sings in that, when the fullness is here, then my heart can be full, too.
Full with grief and love, regret and joyfulness. Full of possibilities and knowing that there are things that can never be reversed. And there are things that can be created. All of it.
And full of what we are creating, now. This anti-nuclear family [as we like to call ourselves] I am part of – Bill, Sam, Mav and me. My larger family of chosen beloved family members. My brothers and their families. All the dreamers I have ever had the honor of working with.
To know where I have come from, some of which was utterly broken, as I am part of something that is growing in a new way. Part of which is still difficult and even broken. And all of which is gorgeous.
I hope your time with this week has been full, too.