Twice this daughter could not be with us on Thanksgiving. She's here today,
a thing that is more important than anything - even politics.
The other day, I wrote:
"You can't write with reason and balance about a thing until your passion has been captured by the next thing."
Since the election, I've been reading stories about relationships – some lifelong – that have ended, or will, over the way people voted two weeks ago.
One couple moved their wedding to another country to make it financially out of reach for their family members.
That sort of thing.
Those stories of broken relationships captured and saddened me for days. To imagine how friends or family who have known and loved each other forever could estrange over the election was beyond my powers of empathy or imagination.
Today, it is Thanksgiving. My children are home. It is the next thing, and I am captured again.
These days are precious to me. We are apart geographically, now, and often too immersed in our own daily lives to catch up.
And I have missed them. I have been craving their company, their stories, their voices. I'll get those glimpses of how they've changed since we last gathered, I'll hear of other people they've encountered who changed them, maybe enlightened them.
Our kids took serious interest in this election, and some of us were immensely disappointed over Hillary's loss. Reflexively, I tried to offer some explanation of why others might not have shared that choice. With one daughter's help, I realized that everyone deserves to own their disappointment, however sprawling and angry it gets, and for however long it takes for the next thing to capture them.
But we need Thanksgiving. Had it been necessary, I would have extracted a promise from every individual to leave their politics in the driveway, because politics won't disappear or run away, while people will if they have to.
I hope others can find a way to do this today.
Because rage will quell. The craving to lash out will pass.
And mostly, next things will continue to happen.
Our lives will change, end, and begin.
Our elderly will leave us and our babies will arrive.
We will fall in love, and we will be claimed by illness.
We will fall into stretches of terrible luck and we will shine with good fortune.
We will drive into telephone poles, lose our homes, get fired, get arrested.
We will get fantastic job offers, become engaged, marry, divorce.
We will be joyous over bigger wins, and disappointed over bigger losses.
The longer we live and the more next things that happen to us, the more we will wish to be near the ones who have known and loved us from the start.
In my house, and in my world, the next thing is here. It's Thanksgiving today and my kids are home, where they will forever be more important than anything – even politics – for a few precious days.
Love to you all.
I wish you glorious next things, and mostly, loved ones to share them with.