El Tenksgeevee
Beloved, how do I greet you all?

Dear Frankie,
Dear Cesar,
Dear Rags,
Dear Cinder,
Dear Bonnie,
Dear Geoff,
Dear Grace,
Dear Clarke,
Dear White Eagle,
Dear Students,
Dear Fishtrap,
Dear Shawn Phillips,
Dear Janna,
Dear Warrior,
Dear Enrique,
Dear Eduardo,
Dear Spookie,
Dear Cheryl,
Dear Juan Sanchez,
Dear Prudence (won't you come out to play),
Dear Jennifer,
Dear Robert P,
Dear Nicole,
Dear Isabel,
Dear Olivas,
Dear Poage,
Dear Simon Joseph,
Dear Erika,
Dear Papa Byrd,
Dear Red Charlie,
Dear Janible,
Dear Dalia,
Dear Erika,
Dear Kali,
Dear Kikelomo,
Dear Kirill, Dear Ramos,
Dear Kyledeb,
Dear mommymuse,
Dear Michelle,
Dear Aaron,
Dear Librarians,
Dear Anonymous,
Dear Lurkers,
Dear Whoever has slipped temporarily off the list or out of my faltering old mind--

it is Thanksgiving Day. I never much liked this day or Christmas Day because there are so many dead scattered behind me. It makes me sad. And, frankly, the memories aren't so great from the days when they were alive. How do you save the past? How do you heal the cuts? Maybe you change the future and the past by having the best possible today. Be here now, they say.

We took the kids to see Phantom of the Opera last night. Then we bundles up and braved the Lake Michigan wind and the snow advisory and walked down to the Macy's/Marshall Fields store and watched the little lit-up figures in the windows dance. In Boston, in 1982, I would have been alone, astounded the world could be so cold, and I would have been older than I am today. You know how Dylan put it--"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."

In 1972 I would have been in my sad house, making believe my mom and the cats and I were living in Boston--painfully good manners in a house with no plumbing or heat or stove. My dad, off alone, sleeping on some friend's couch. Sad, sad, sad.

But today the house is warm. Everyone is happy. The only one cold is our wild turkey. Megan and Chayo are singing Phantom songs. Eric is drumming, again, damn it. Cinderella is cooking. Me? I'm walking around in swimming trunks for some reason, even though the birdbath froze solid and made a birdie skating rink.

I was hanging solar-snowman lights outside. You can feel the snow coming back. And above, lost in the layers of gray, lost in the snowy sky, came the migrating cranes. Big ghosty cranes, swirling and calling, shadows in the cold. Their voices so full of grace, so full of distance and hope. They never fly straight lines, those cranes. They seem to circle as they travel, looking down on us all and calling to us, endlessly calling:

"Give thanks. Give praise. Be alive. Be here."

I am here. I am alive. All praise. All thanks. I'll think of you today.


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