Friday, November 20, 2020

Thanksgiving Impromptu Talk

We went on our longest beach walk, yet. I am not boasting about how long it was. I am only saying it was longer than the previous walks. And now I say it, I realize it's hardly a meaningful or even interesting statement to make, and just to bring it down a bit further, I will add... I wish I didn't wear the hard, flat sandals I had on.

Well. That entire bit ought to be deleted. I'll leave it, though. Sometimes, in the interest of transparency and being me, I think it reasonable to be unfiltered. What I actually wanted to bring attention to, rather than my superficial first impression of a lovely evening beachwalk, was the beauty of the light, the way waves gently sweeping up the beach can be so soothing. I'm glad I asked Geoff to catch the sun... so fun to play with perspective. I'm glad the tide was out, that we had room to spread out, and stay clear of the unstable bluff. I'm glad Geoff has been determined to get us out, and to the beach. Sometime during our excursion, someone asked about Thanksgiving. A week away, was the reply, and there were some exclamations, a general sense of amazement-bewilderment-resignation... this year needs new fashioned adjectives, because we have new fashioned reactions to all of these new fashioned experiences. How often we are flumoxed, then shrug our shoulders, and confirm, "Well, that's 2020." Answer: Often.

A few days ago I happened to catch an Instagram Live segement from Black Food Folks, which they called "Thanksgiving Impromptu Talk." It was just two people talking about Thanksgiving and food... cooking, eating, traditions, expectations, what's great, what's a hard pass. Adrian and Clay covered it all, and I was riveted, and thrilled. They were serving up just the thing I've been missing... impassioned views on the things that matter to us around the Thanksgiving table. It made me tearful, and I laughed aloud, and I feel oh so thankful to them for sharing this subject. I even blogged about this before, about how much I love to hear people defend their stand on what makes Thanksgiving good, correct, best. It's as true for me as ever, "my own Thanksgiving isn't official until someone has shared an impassioned anecdote about their favorite green bean recipe, or the best mashed potatoes!" (I do believe I've just quoted myself. Is that tacky?) And the talk Adrian and Clay shared gave me that special and favorite flavor of Thanksgiving; something harder to stumble upon when one is staying home... because, you know: 2020.I have a lot of views on, and affection for Thanksgiving, including what and why I celebrate, and the best "kids" table ever. This Thanksgiving, with little choice, I will say, I am thankful for all the celebrations we have enjoyed before... when we could make a big fuss, and gather from near and far, when we could enjoy being together, sharing, and celebrating our love, our lives, and I can't deny it's bittersweet to say so. I wish... well, I know things will be better.

I am tempted to continue the Thanksgiving Impromptu Talk and ask everyone What makes your Thanksgiving dinner good, correct, the best? Is it Stove Top stuffing? Turkey vs Ham? What is your vegan maincourse? Marshmallows on sweet potatoes? Are you in it for the turkey, or are you like Adrian, and in it for sides and dessert? I love the sides. I love it all, and I love love love listening to people talk about all of it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Life Full

This began as a post about drying orange slices, and limes, about starry nights, sketches, and home. Now, I am gazing at the middle distance, drying tears, and trying to make sense of this full life, of the small and great things that can transpire over decades, and in a single morning.

Our Internet is failing. Geoff is waiting for a technician. I am making a musical playlist to keep me motivated and inspired to continue deep cleaning in the kitchen. Editing pictures goes slowly, with weak Internet, so I am parallel processing... back and forth between music and pictures. Messages cross my phone, with sad news. I fumble around for words... words that console, words that compensate for all that we cannot do during a pandemic, when we care more than we can say. I dive deep into photographs, Christmas music, memories, and nostalgia. I scorch the beans on the stove. Parallel processing is overrated. Countless emotions, and reactions rise, press, inflate, drift around, and I close my eyes, breath. Musn't conflate, musn't dive too deep. And something else? What was it the article said, about How To Stay Calm When You Know You Will Be Stressed? No. Not that one. It was something else I read, or watched, or heard. Something about feeling your feelings, and not surpressing them. I have so many photographs, and so many bits of information... promixmate knowledge of many things. Too many bits of information, not enough access. My brain is a slow Internet.

I dried oranges, and they made the house smell bright, fresh. I've wanted to do this for a long time. Probably since I first picked up a Better Homes and Gardens, or Martha Stewart Living. My life is full, and yet I still find lessons I need to relearn, to take to heart,like trying... go places, touch things, listen, make, test, sample, use things up, speak up, take a stand, be wrong or bad, or silly, but try, start, play. Carol sent me pictures, for more inspiration, of dried grapefruit slices, which are large, and pale, luminous pink, and of dried citrus wreaths, and garlands. Adriana shared a link for ornaments. I am so delighted to have friends playing with me, sharing the fun, even at a distance.

Sunday was a movie night. We watched The Little Prince, which is on Netflix. It's a beautiful movie, by the way, artistically, narratively. It's one I had forgotten, and had only a sense that it was something good. It was the night of the New Moon, and there were no clouds, and it wasn't too cold, but cold enough. After everyone left, there were too many good embers to douse, so I made another plan. I scrubbed potatoes, and wrapped them in aluminum foil. William joined me back outside. We sat on the ground, beside the fire ring, listening to the wet potatoes sizzle. And we looked up. It was such a wondrous star gazing night, that even my phone was able to capture a hint of the magic. We saw meteors, bright blue shooting stars. We watched Orion rise, and then Sirius. Twinkling, Sirius, the brightest star, in the constellation Canis Major. It was flickering its dazzling rainbow. The Pleiades were in great form, I point them out in the photo above. Mars has been bright and visible for months. The Andromeda Galaxy was just overhead, but not so visible. Still, just to say it, Andromeda Galaxy, is pretty heckin' cool. I want to find a lounge chair, or drag out a reclining chair, then watch the sky all night.

Sometimes,often, I start to think of ideas, of people, of causes, and issues, of events, and I want to mention all of it, all of them. Life is full, for each of us. I should feed the chickens, salvage what I can of the beans. I am also thinking of you, dear ones, of your full lives, and the things that make you close your eyes and breath... wordlessly, I am sending consolation, and my best thoughts for some comfort, for an easing of burdens.