Everyday is a great day to give thanks–for every and anything–especially today, the American Thanksgiving holiday. The history of the holiday is a study in contrast and contradiction–the present too. But, in the glass half full we have a an official day off and license to eat, drink, hang out with our peeps. Enjoying life is what we’re meant to do here on Earth.
Striking a balance between celebration, doing the work… serving, is a challenge.
Today: I rose a couple of hours past my usual hour on a weekday. Fresh sheets and three layers on top of them, had me snug and toasty. But, I got myself up as not to waste the daylight hours. The sun was up. I hadn’t counted on that. Just yesterday, stormy weather was jacking up travel in over half the country. So right off, I celebrate the sun and all the elements cooperating to allow us to feel the light.
Ah, the joy of a departure from the usual. Off the road is where the treasure is. Like today when I actually sort through a drawer I’d promised myself I would, too long ago to tell. In that wire basket are documents of the last 20 plus years of my work. I found the contract with the publisher of my first book, anthology titled Up South–and reviews, postcards, flyers. I found a list of books I had signed up when I worked as an editor in the 1980s. And, there were promotional brochures and flyers of cultural events that are cherished in my memory such as those in Atlanta in the 1980s and 1990s–artists such as Abbey Lincoln, Butch Morris, Odetta, Juju & Amoyewa, Sekou Sundiata and others who are now ancestors. There are the brilliant ones who performed then and continue now such as David Murray, Craig Harris, Carl Hancock Rux, Greg Tate, and many many more.
I find papers concerning my dozen years with Michael Babatunde Olatunji’s Drums of Passion. My dreams to perform with him began from my discovery of his groundbreaking album, Drums of Passion, in our home collection in Knoxville, by virtue of our membership in the Columbia Record Club.
I find memories as spiritual stepping stones to lead me to the next places, the new year, the next expressions of me. So now, I’ll get out of my flannel jammies and into some outdoor drag; walk to the Harlem pier and Fairway Grocery across the road; greet the Hudson River, the sun and everyone I encounter along the way. I’ll see or speak to my beloveds as the day rolls on and we fill ourselves with food and drink and love. Reasons to give Thanks.