I’ve been approaching the holidays with cautious optimism, bracing myself for the waves of grief I’ve heard will overtake me at random moments these next couple weeks. My plan is in place. Big breath, dive under and listen to the blanketed melody of crest and crash.
No one ever taught me about grief. Early on, the nasty beast felt like condemnation, a feeling with which I’m well acquainted. Yet looking back, it’s as if the months have been filtered by that Gaussian Blur Photoshop tool that makes a thing drift into another thing by degrees . . . until it floats in oblivion, juxtaposed by other snapshot moments that are sharpened so finely they are unsettling. (Reference Chuck Close’s 2009 photo of Brad Pitt on the cover of W . . . the only way I can describe it)
All this to say, I had an amazing Thanksgiving and I don’t feel a whit guilty about it. Life is too damn short to fabricate additional pain. For today, I’m floating in joy . . . watching our collective kids make the effort to get home to be with the cousins, . . . celebrating new life (Rachel and Taylor!), laughing through new games (thank you Eric, for SongPop Party! and Code Names), tracking through new romances (when a first date involves an adventure to the Renwick Gallery to see the Burning Man Exhibit, Ebenezer Coffee House and Jojo’s Jazz Club . . . all in one date . . . I’d call that coming in hot). We have budding writers, musicians and politicians in our crew. The beautiful messy complexity of it all is a big fat dose of JOY.
Best part? I get to watch Mom and Dad watch it . . . thoroughly humbled and enthralled by all this love forged by a blind frat party date over fifty-five years ago. For most of my adult life I’ve tucked a dream in my heart. I am a Frances Mayes-esque sojourner, with all my loves around a long farm table at dusk, under big fans on a wrap around porch, the sound of crashing waves and laughter as soundtrack. Oh, and there is good wine too. Aside from a couple of arbitrary details, I’m there.
Welcome to our annual, super fast, freezing cold holiday-card family photo shoot! (I sure did miss you, Dan and Kristiana)