e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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In Case You Wondered...

...why, with all the total insanity going on in the world, I've spent time posting innocuous things here--like finishing the purple socks, starting roof repair, refurbishing a living room--does it mean I don't care? (the common attack when someone isn't talking about whatever your favorite problem is) or I'm too stupid to realize what's happening?   Er...no.  It means I thought it might be useful to more than me to have a space set aside from noise and chaos for a few weeks, where others might spend a few minutes being reminded what it is all the screaming and shouting and threatening and counter-threatening and name-calling is about.   Those things that most people really want: a safe place to eat and sleep and welcome into a home friends and neighbors. Things too many people in the world don't have, but that some of us do have, and have only so long as civilization--including civility, the ability to get along with each other--exists.   So the pictures of socks--that most humble of garments--and the disappearance of a danger to ourselves and neighbors in the dying tree--and the change in a single smallish room in a single ordinary house are there to say "This is still here.  The quiet places.  The steady day to day work of the roofers, the carpet layers, the tree removers, the furniture makers and the delivery men on the truck, and those who keep the electrons flowing in the wires, and mend roads, and haul food from warehouses to stores...it goes on, and it goes on because we notice it enough to keep it going on."

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.)
Tags: thanksgiving
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