Knitting socks is one symbol of this: of infrstructure maintenance, of a sort, of people doing something constructive to make things better. So is replacing a leaky roof, cutting down a dangerous dying tree, saving the chopped up limbs and leaves to use as mulch, turning an uncomfortable and ugly space into a comfortable, serene refuge for people to enjoy. That's what these posts have been about--things ordinary people can do, and many accomplish, that--multiplied across neighborhoods, towns, cities, countries--make things better in the face of the determination of others to destroy things and make things worse. Things that must not be forgotten, in the scary chaos of the news--because these things are upheld by our awareness of them and by our practice of them.
So what about Thanksgiving in the face of all the anger, fear, hatred, and those who want everyone to be afraid, angry, and hating? It's another tool for civilization and civility, Thanksgiving and the thankfulness the holiday is meant to inspire. Gratitude enables actions that anger, fear, and hatred cannot enable. Thankfulness makes possible a mind open to possibilities, to imagination of better futures, that anger, fear, and hatred cannot contemplate. Those who want to control everyone, manipulate everyone, know that scared people are easy to make angry, and thus to make hate...and thus easy to shape into a mob that wants to destroy. And those bullies (for that is what they are) oppose holidays like Thanksgiving as mere sensual excess (which mere underlings are never supposed to have.) They exist on every side of every conflict, saying "How can you enjoy yourself while [this other] is happening--it means you're bad, thoughtless, uncaring." No. It means you're defiant. Quietly defiant, carrying on a civilized meal in spite of demands to obey the bullies. (OK, if you have a warlike family, then maybe not. But there's a way to avoid that, at the cost of a brief discomfort--saying "No" to those who think you should come be miserable for four hours or so while they rant at each other. Your choice.)
I have plenty to say about certain politicians and candidates and foreign leaders and movements and so on, much of which I've said elsewhere, online and off. Including to the complete idiots who are supposedly my representatives in our government, most of whom are practiced at making things worse. I am not immune to what's going on. But--long, long ago my mother taught me three things to do when the world (near or far) was going crazy: 1) help somebody who needs help and 2) make something useful and 3) clean up a nearby mess. The helping part is not to be displayed, but the making something useful and cleaning up a mess can be.
I hope Thanksgiving dinner comes off well this year (the book deadline, the repairs & restorations, and Thanksgiving all collided.) I'm glad most of my guests are returning ones and thus likely to be forgiving if the pumpkin pie or the gingerbread-apple-walnut loaf is sticky in the middle. I'm glad for the new guests, too, and hope they enjoy themselves. (And now, back to the book. To be followed by...more prep for T-day.)