Sometimes I'm even thankful for the darkness

I'm not one much for gratitudes, but I do try to remember the things that keep me going, that remind me why it's good to be alive. In the spirit of the season, there's so much for which to be thankful.

Mostly I'm thankful for the things you'd expect--my husband, my cats, my family, my jobs, the fact that I have shelter and food and even music and books. I'm able-bodied and healthy. I have good friends. I have whiskey.

I'm thankful for other things, too.

I'm thankful for feasts with my family and old jokes and traditions. I'm so thankful to have a good relationship with my brothers and their wives and, now, my baby niece.

I'm thankful for friends who've become family.

I'm grateful I was able to visit Texas this month and visit my grandmother. Knowing it might be the last time I see her is at once heartbreaking and beautiful. I didn't get to say goodbye to my grandfather, so this was really a gift.

I'm thankful that the same trip gave me added perspective on my relationship with my birth mother. It's been 18 or so years since we first reunited and it hasn't always been easy. Let's be honest, it still is kind of fucking hard. More and more, however, I realize this is just what it's going to be so I better get used to it and maybe even get over it because I have an adoptive mother here in California who's been to hell and back for me and, really, that's enough.

All that and I know my birth mother loves me. And the silvery thread of that is enough for me to soldier on in this relationship.

I'm thankful that after 15 years of my father not speaking to me that I' m really learning to give zero fucks about it. Sure, there may still be tears but there is also acceptance. I can't fix him. It's not my fault. I've done what I can.

I'm thankful for the desert and the mountains and the ocean and wide-open skies and endless roads to nowhere. I'm thankful to know there will always be new adventures as well as far-flung places I can call home.

I'm so goddamned thankful that there are people in this world who care enough to fight and, yes protest, for the Michael Browns and the Trayvon Martins of the world. I'm thankful there are people who want to see real change, who strive to fight injustice and lies.

I'm thankful there are people like Wendy Davis who will campaign for women’s' rights and even after losing a political race, will keep on taking a stand.

I'm thankful there are homeless shelters and, even more so, animal shelters to take in creatures in need. I'm thankful there are volunteers who help run those organizations even when money is scarce and I'm thankful there are people who give money to keep them going. We're all in this together folks, let's help each other out--let's be kind and generous, OK?

I'm so incredibly thankful for the ability to love art and, also, create art. Sometimes those are the only things that seem to keep me sane. The right piece of music, art, literature or film can be life-saving. To create your own bits can be life-changing.

Sometimes I'm even thankful for the insanity: the depression, the sadness, the fears that creep up. They teach me so much. Honestly, at this point I can't even imagine life just being an effortless ride free of glitches and bumps and questions and the darkness.

Without all of those rocky stretches, without all those moments of utter blackness, who would ever appreciate the sunshine again?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours....



Thank YOU, Rachel, for your heartfelt thanks and most of all for YOU! I am grateful for you!

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