Happy Thanksgiving-Bang the Drumstick slowly,

As a transplant patient you are taught to live in an almost continual state of thanks, it is a thing that I sort of suck at, in part because of my rather Daffy Duck like tendencies towards frustration. Fortunately thankfulness isn’t a destination it’s a journey, one that we all have to work towards. Sometimes the frustrations no matter how great or small get in the way of  knowing how fortunate we are.   In the midst of making turkeys or trying to open canned cranberries we can miss the point.  To be thankful for what we have and how we got here, to remember that we are all standing on the shoulders of the ones before us.  It’s a sentiment too easily lost in football games and black Friday sales.

To be honest who truly relates to Pilgrims – I mean outside of  the Amish.  It’s a day where we celebrate there devotion to puritanical ideals  by indulging in a bunch of  sins: gluttony, sloth,  greed (seriously you celebrate  thanksgiving by  camping out in front of Best Buy?   To get a deal on a tv- its not a free tv. It’s a deal on tv), and of course wrath, envy and pride- that all involves football though.   Not a lot of lust, but I think that’s because  most of the nation is in a tryptophan hole.

In ’89 or ’90 I started to do an Orphan’s Thanksgiving for everyone like myself who had nowhere to go  (one parent had disinherited me, the other was living in the UK)  so my friend and partner Sonia and I talked  a bunch of people to  come out to Fridley eat Turkey and watch Disney and John Waters movies.  At  some point the  stove may have caught fire and people may have been voguing on the kitchen counter.  It was the first time I actually truly connected with it as a holiday the very simple idea of giving thanks.

It wasn’t until  92 that it became a tradition with guests who have come in from all of the world, its been host to whoever was on tour,  its been the meeting point for lifelong relationships and super unfortunate hook ups  We have had it  in time of great prosperity and utter disparity,  When Mo and I separated for a time we even got back together  in time to do it, I did it at my sickest,  it was actually where I first came face to face with Scott my kidney donor  since he had agreed to be my donor and  4 days before the operation.

Until this year, today there is no Orphans thanksgiving, a  move to a new place which is a sea of boxes, and  home to a stove that seems to know only one temperature and a dishwasher that refuses to drain   So what has lasted through the best and worst of times  has been temporarily waylaid by appliances.  It will return next year- bigger badder, rougher and tougher, Much like Bond in skyfall a brief absence, quickly forgotten upon its return.

Nonetheless I am thankful, so unbelievably thankful.  I am thankful for friends that understood we needed a year off,  thankful for friends that wanted to share their holiday with us., Thankful for friends that are a part of my life now and friends who aren’t anymore for whatever the reason, it’s the stuff that makes us who we are, and who we will become. I am thankful for my country, which has gotten a little punched up as of late but  keeps getting up off the mat, and fighting all the harder.  I am thankful for my state and the fact that we voted down the Gay marriage amendment.  I am thankful for my family both my extended and my actual albeit they are  more Charles Addams than Norman Rockwell but none the less I am thankful. I am thankful for the good and the bad, we are alive , and it might be chaotic but  like at all times in  human history we stand at a crossroads; there will be good and there will be bad,  and  I am thankful for both and all the glorious bits in between.