I’m having complicated feelings this Thanksgiving.
While there may have indeed been pockets of genuine hospitality and mutual material and cultural exchange between early ‘pilgrims’ and indigenous inhabitants of this land, our subsequent actions of genocidal erasure toward those who lived in harmony with this land for 10-14,000 years prior makes this holiday’s deployment in our national hagiography function as a collective self-absolving amnesia, an insult added to very real injury.
To the ᎠᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (East Cherokee) people whose land I live on, I am grateful for the gift of this land and her sustenance, and so sorry for the way it came about. In 2020, I seek openness to pathways of metanoia and repair.
And I sit here, left with the composted coordinates of the day, itself: A day dedicated to meal-sharing, a time to be with family (biological, adoptive, and/or chosen), a holiday dedicated to gratitude.
Remorse and grace, messiness and connection: Isn’t Thanksgiving a kind of microcosm of our entire contemporary existence?
None of us are un-stained by transgression, done by or to us; and yet, we seek acts of metanoia (changed-being) and vessels of mercy, together.
2019 has been a challenging year for many of us. I think we’re ready to do the work, to receive the grace, of rejoining soul to body—individually and culturally. We’re tired of living as discarnate, hungry ghosts.
And so, I find myself grateful for you.
Because I sense you’re hungry.
I sense you’re ready: To journey with your people, backed by all the divine energies of God, angels, and the great cloud of witnesses, to work together in discovering the Kin-dom of God, what contemporary teacher Charles Eisenstein names the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
I leave us with these expectant lyrics from indie band Death Cab for Cutie, which form my thanks-giving prayer:
I cannot guess what we’ll discover
When we turn the dirt with our palms cupped like shovels
But I know our filthy hands can wash one another’s
And not one speck will remain.