What am I thankful for?
1. The gift of an education, and a life of enough privilege that I can prioritize ACTIVE DECOLONIZATION of my own mind and heart.
2. Enough emotional/spiritual stability that–even though I have bumped and bounced from professional class to working class to actual poverty– I have only been moved to suicidality twice in the last 12-years. I do not mean to be flippant, but I do have a difficult time understanding how most AmeriKKKans aren’t in more despair than we actually are, day-to-day.
3. The courage I have cultivated, nourished by solid friendships and connections, that allows me to continue to speak my truth through my own vulnerabilities; swhether other people like what I say or not.
4. Recognizing that resiliency, while certainly a good tool, is over-rated for me–an African-American women. I am thankful that I am learning to lean into my vulnerabilities and away from the amount of positive re-enforcement I will get for continuing to “suck it up”. Whatever “it” happens to be.
5. Knowing–deep in my bones, even deeper into cellular memory– that I am NOT AN ANGRY BLACK WOMAN. I am a full fleshed, AWAKE HUMAN BEING looking the question “what do I look like when I am well?” square in the eye. And because “what I look like when I am well” is the opposite of what the country I have been raised in is expecting (manipulating?) me into feeling/ believing/desiring I find myself making other people uncomfortable. That is what “being counterculture” means.
6. I am thankful that The Trumpocalypse has lead me not only into a deepening exploration of the many feelings I have, but has allowed me to participate in ongoing dialogue with many kinds of people (e.g. white people/ e.g. men). “When they go low”, responding with fragility or misogynistic defenses, “I go high”, and have an entire toolbox of creatively maladjusted ways to respond that keep the connections going.
7. I am thankful that my psyche is currently able to hold a rudder through the chaos of being INSIDE an unravelling nation state: “The UN-TIED States of AmeriKKKa”
8. I am thankful that I have lived to see women around the world begin RISE UP, and to move the conversation beyond religion, ethnicity, race, nation-state, to gender issues.
Having inventoried all these things to be thankful for, I will be spending tomorrow at the Day of Mourning organized by the United American Indians of New England (www.uaine.org)
It has been happening for 48 years.
This is the first year that I will be participating.
So here we are, folks.
Thanksgiving has become a Hollow Day that I simply cannot stomach. Not even for thst trukey dinner. I appreciate that most AmeriKKKans have beautiful family gatherings/traditions at this time of the year. I confess that my own family Thanksgiving traditions have been deeply dysfunctional my entire life. They veered off into oblivion when my mother (the turkey baster in the kitchen all morning before the football games started) died 30 years ago, and simply never came together again for myself, my father, my brothers, my own children (when they came along)… Consequently, I am not sacrificing a wonderful experience in community for a separate political agenda. And, I am not asking others to give up their good parts of this holiday.
I am content that my blood relations seem to have “diaspora-ed” into many directions, and have a happy and connected experience of this time of year.
Please do not cast me in the role of Scrooge, as we roll into the high Hollow days of ultimate AmeriKKKan KKKonsumerism. I end with a most ultimately ironic “thankful”:
I am most thankful that I, an African-American slave descent woman, had progenitors who survived the horrors of The Middle Passage and came to AmeriKKKa. Because for all of my country’s disgraces, I did not have my clitoris cut off of my female body, as an infant or as an 8 year old child.
As many West African ethnic groups were still doing, in 1957 when I was born.
And, are still doing today.
May your personal inventory of grace, beauty and power in your life leave you on the high side of it all.