Thanksgiving

Today, Angel is working (such is the nurse's life) and I am enjoying a melancholy Thanksgiving day before we join friends for dinner this evening. A walk in Discovery Park on a lovely cloudy Seattle Fall day, and listening to LoveLand - a recent project headed by John Spalding, who used to play with Raft of Dead Monkeys and Suffering and the Hideous Thieves, and passed away last Sunday. (A friend of friends.) I just got off of the phone with my parents, who are spending Thanksgiving visiting cemeteries and the graves of their recently deceased parents.

I always like Thanksgiving - every cultural celebration has baggage, but most people can get behind the basic act of reflecting on what you're thankful for. This year having been punctuated so distinctively by loss, it feels like a little bit more of a discipline than usual. I came across this quote by Thich Nhat Hanh recently though that has for me functioned as a challenge:

"To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is."


Reality is something to mourn and something to be thankful for.

Death and Resurrection and all that

This year my family has lost five members, several jobs, lots of money, and some important relationships. In the context of that loss, and having been present with death, at a personal level I've been confronted with my own mortality in a direct way. Thankfully, I've realized this year that I'm going to die someday - not just realized, I suppose, but accepted. Life is much more livable when you are resigned to dying.

In the Image of God and Fallen

This year I have made myself vulnerable to the Church - its institutions, committees, and people - and have come away cut to the core, hurt in a way that reminded me of the pain of Junior High School. Thankfully I came out of that experience thoroughly dis-illusioned. That is, freed of any lingering illusion that the Church and God are related to one another in a deeper way than are God and you and I. Living as a Christian, and being a member of the Church, are much easier when human creations aren't deified.

It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all

This year I've slowly been losing a job, and concurrently a community, that I've really loved at Multifaith Works. Thankfully I've become a part of that community, and have learned for the first time how to be a minister and a chaplain. I've learned to be with people, and to counter counter-culture. And I've felt useful.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

This year has been too busy, and I feel like I've barely seen my wife. Thankfully I've seen her accomplish a dream in becoming a NP and obtaining a Masters Degree, and thankfully I've come to appreciate her strength. In life, she's managed to travel through the 9 circles of Hell and come out a better person than I.

Family Matters

I'm a long way from Southern Ohio, and this year in particular have felt guilty about not being at home. Thankfully I've realized that family connections don't disappear with distance.

So, of course, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Comments

maggi said…
thank you Tim. for some reason your comments were really helpful to me today

happy thanksgiving
ROBERTA said…
you had some good reminders in that post (i.e. the church is not god)...thank you.
Tim said…
Thanks Maggi and Roberta.

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