Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving



The Sun Never Says

Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth,

"You owe me."

Look what happens with a love like that,

It lights up the whole sky.



As yet, I don't believe in God... but I do believe in my family.

Yesterday my mom, 64 years old, broke her tibia and fell down the last four steps of the staircase she was descending. My dad rushed her to the hospital were she had to undergo an immediate surgery to put a pin in her leg. Thankfully, she wasn't hurt worse.

The news reached our family and the response was not surprising at all. My twin sister called off her Thanksgiving plans. She and her husband loaded their van with their family of six, his tools and in the late of evening headed from Montana to Colorado on a 13-hour journey. They stayed in Jackson Hole just to wake up this morning and drive into Steamboat Springs, Colorado where my parents were working to fix up the building that was the home to our family business for years.

They will arrive and my sister will immediately go to work to make a Thanksgiving dinner for my mom, dad and her family. Her husband will spend the next three days of his Thanksgiving break doing construction with my dad. Then he'll load up his kids and drive them back for school on Monday morning. My twin will stay in Steamboat until my mom can travel and then take her back to Montana to take care of her until she can use her crutches.

Next week, my older sister will take her youngest son, 17, with her to Steamboat from Idaho to work on the building until all of the work is finished so my dad can come home to Montana. My parents' sole source of income is tied up in that building and with it in disrepair, their livelihood is very fragile.

Just a month earlier, this same big sister--in an act of total unselfishness--bought plane tickets for five of us: my older brother, his wife and daughter, my fiancee and me. She did this so that we could attend an uncle's funeral in San Diego. This sister is anything but financially secure, yet she didn't hesitate to make possible our family's gathering for this solemn occasion.

This family of mine is not without a history of conflict and pain, but what is amazing is that through the years we've worked hard to resolve and forgive each other for our missteps and mistakes. Most of all, this family has shown its true colors when we've most needed each other.

Gandhi once said that:

"Life will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom. But it will be an oceanic circle whose centre will be the individual always ready to perish for the village, the latter ready to preish for the circle of villages, until at last the whole becomes one life composed of individuals...the outermost circumference will not wield power to crush the inner circle but will give strength to all within and derive its strength from it."

My strength to struggle for peace and justice, and risk my livelihood para la causa is derived in every way from my family. For me, it's definitely worth the pain to reach across the fire and make my relationships work. It's worth it to forgive. It's worth it to distinguish my true needs from my desires, and then to let go of as many of my cravings as possible. I will remember that to be "right" I often label others "wrong": I will work to let go of the desire to be right. I will try to remember that the consequences of my actions are the very ground upon which I stand: I will try to stop actions that cause others to suffer. Today especially, I give thanks to my family for all its grace.

Happy Thanksgiving!


4 comments:

gregrandgar said...

Your blood family could not be more different than my astrangement of siblings and niblings since my dad let the center go, but I do know the "family" you speak of, because I am meeting members of it all the time, both of us with the feeling that there's more of us out there we may never meet, but find comfort in knowing they are there. Ché Bob, this knowing we are brothers has nothing to do with god, and is often in spite of the chasm the idea of a deity wreaks on human kinship. This was a wonderful, inspirational post, and quite different than my hopeful commemoratrion of yet another thankstaking day, Thanks, brother.

troutsky said...

It's always something,eh bro? Challenges and tribulations you just have to rise up to and meet head on.We'll be thinking of your wonderful mom (and cool sister)and sending some Reiki energy her way.

Ps Interestingly, the friend who cooked us such a fine Thanksgiving meal found out on Monday that her mom had fallen and broke her hip.As for God, if you read my last couple posts about religion in general you'll see how little patience I have left for God or God-smote people right now.They can believe what they want, but I don't want them stumbling into my world in the middle of the night,all God drunk on their intoxicating visions, smashing into the furniture and knocking over the lamps.Their dogma and prophesy and literal readings stand between people and social justice.Opiates and corn mash.Enough ranting.

Anonymous said...

The actual tragedies of life bear no relation to one's preconceived ideas. In the event, one is always bewildered by their simplicity, their grandeur of design, and by that element of the bizzare which seems inherent in them.
- Jean Cocteau



Family life is too intimate to be preserved by the spirit of justice. It can be sustained by a spirit of love which goes beyond justice.
Reinhold Niebuhr


Wonderful thought and comments, thank-you. I am adding these quotes to your comments because I really don't know what I can say to add to you blog.

However I would like to add a comment about your comment about not beleiving in god, which is okay, but I would like to add that one can still have a faith even if you don't subscribe to the dogma of religion. For myself my faith is family, and not just my bloodkin but also the family of humans.

Blessing and Thanksgiving to all that is, was and will be.

katty said...

I love when my husband and i pass time together specially when we are with all the family celebrating the thanksgiving. Is sure this year we´ll be happy all of us together and enjoying. But i am thankful because my husband buy viagra and he has more self-steem.I am really happy.