Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Gratitude 2011

I've mentioned before that Thanksgiving is a rather meaningful holiday for me. I love the celebration of the harvest, particularly in preparing delicious vegan food for a big feast. I also really love looking back on the year, reflecting on the events that have past as the darkest days of the years tick down. Sharing this holiday with people I love means a lot to me.

This year CK and I nearly spent the holiday in Sacramento with her family. Her Father is trying to cause some problems and she hasn't been down in a while. Ultimately we realized we were feeling very stressed in planning to go down. Bigger than her concern that she was falling back into the habitual behavior learned while growing up, CK realized that Thanksgiving with her family, complete with both turkey and ham being served, was another example of a communal meal that would leave us feeling distracted, sad, being made to feel othered by our being vegan, and complicit in the suffering of sentient beings.

So we stayed home and several friends came over to celebrate with us. Another friend came by to foist more dessert upon us and DW dropped by between our place, her Dad's and her brother's adopted family. We all enjoyed a big feast, with our friends bringing food and wine to celebrate with us. I'm so very grateful for this meal, this time with friends who share and support our desire to live our lives honoring peace and non-violence. I'm really honored by CK and her desire to make this holiday one that celebrates peace and non-violence -- even when doing so means dealing with a lot of hurt feelings from her family.

*CK has posted a really good article about her decision to not partake in a non-vegan Thanksgiving on her blog.

The buidling reflected in the pond behind the heron is the one my office is in.

This year also brings me gratitude for my new job. Just last Thanksgiving I'd gone out on an icy cold, windy day for my interview. I'd talked about it with friends during dinner last year, but had been certain I wouldn't get an offer. It has been nearly a year now, much of it filled with an intensely busy project schedule, but I'm so grateful for a team that respects me and I feel like I can grow my skills further at this company.

It doesn't feel right not to reflect upon how grateful I am for my wife. This past week we worked hard together making our basement closer to habitable and mourning the discovery that several of our old, leather-bound books have suffered mold due to the increased humidity brought on from the house being insulated & weatherized. CK hung vivid red curtains in our living/dining room, making the space feel cozier and brighter. I was once again how struck I was at finally having a partner in my life who was there for me during the hard work and the fun. It makes all the difference and I am filled with gratitude for CK.

There are also our animal companions to be grateful for. They bring us so much joy and despite the regularity with which we find ourselves cleaning up messes, barf, and endless piles of fur, we wouldn't have it any other way. I'm so grateful that we're able to open our home to our little herd.

Finally, some gratitude that extends beyond my home for the news this past Tuesday that our current governor announced a moratorium on executions for the remainder of his elected term. This news is so welcome and I am so profoundly grateful for it. Although I wish he'd go so far as to commute all death sentences to life in prison, making an even stronger statement against the death penalty, I at least feel like his announcement opens things up to serious discussion. I felt particularly touched by this quote from the statement that was released, "I refuse to be a part of this compromised and inequitable system any longer; and I will not allow further executions while I am Governor."


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