I do love me some Thanksgiving. We usually have fairly loud ones around these parts with lots of noise, way too much food and a liberal amount of bourbon and wine. I love Thanksgiving so much I will even watch football tomorrow just to keep the tradition alive and our guests happy. My wife wanted to do the pay per view crackling fire so I am really thankful for friends that want to watch football so her natural good hostess tendencies save me $19.99. We have a total of 10 tomorrow which is just about right, maybe even a little on the small size. We have enough food and booze to feed a small army and grand times would seem to be indicated. Best all I do not have to buy one person a gift.
Before dinner, my wife will ask everyone what they are grateful for this year. Rather than just spout the usual family, country, friends routine I actually spent a few minutes thinking about my answer this year. Upon much reflection, I have decided that the proper answer is everything. I am thankful for everything and every moment that came before this moment. The good ones. The bad ones. The exquisite ones. The shitty ones. Each and every moment that lead to this moment and this place in time.
Think about this for a moment. Dr. Ali Binizar calculated the odds of you being born you and came up with roughly 1 in 10 to the 2,850,000 place. He summed it up like this “Imagine there was one life preserver thrown somewhere in some ocean and there is exactly one turtle in all of these oceans, swimming underwater somewhere. The probability that you came about and exist today is the same as that turtle sticking its head out of the water, in the middle of that life preserver. On one try.”
What are the odds of being born in The United States? Roughly 1 in 50 is the answer. The odds of being born in this era with technology leaping forward and making our lives better and longer? 1 in 400,000,000,000.The odds of someone who was the total fuckball I was as a kid reaching the levels I have reached in my 56 years of being? Incalculable. I will let you in on a little secret. When I was 16 or so the idea that I would live to see the turn of the century at the ripe old age of 39 didn’t seem all that likely to me. The idea that I would live far beyond that with many more stretching in front of (I hope) would have been worth little more than a sarcastic nasty chuckle.
So I am thankful for everything. Every sunrise ( I rarely ever see one of these elusive events but they tell it occurs every morning a few hours before I wake), every sunset, every morning, every late night and every minute between them. All of those minutes lead to this minute in this place with these people and there is nowhere else I would rather be.
Every minute. Everything that happened in all of those minutes. Every breath. Every heartbeat. Every person.
The minutes spent sitting in a jail cell with shit an blood smeared on the w3alls when I was a young shitbird without a clue.
The ones spent reading learning, expanding my horizons to include things I never dreamed possible
The first kisses
The last first kiss
The 6am drives to work after all night with a colicky son
The first time I looked into my children’s eyes
The first kiss under the wedding tree
Everyone who ever shared an idea or concept that helped my build my own better world.
Everyone who told me I couldn’t
The ones who took a chance on me when there was no reason to do so
Every composer who worked late into the night working on a song that I enjoyed and even those I don’t enjoy so much- except those of you writing rap music. Seriously-stop that shit.
Every author who shared their stories, dreams, knowledge, and insight to educate, entertain and inspire me
Every inventor who filled around in the garage and made part of my life better, faster, cheaper
Every scientist burning the late night oil in a lab developing products to save and improve my life
Every moment and every person that has touched my life along the way I am thankful for today. Some made my world a better place. Some few did their level best to destroy it and my survival of their assault made me stronger and smarter. Some loved me. Some hated me. Many didn’t actually give a shit about me at all but their passage helped steer me to here in this moment with these people living this life.
I won’t blow smoke up your ass and tell you we live in a perfect world. We most assuredly do not. We have people killing each other over which version of the magic man in the sky we should obey. We have a government that makes pimps, whores and thieves look honorable. That dreaded predator, the American Politician, still strides across the land. As does his even more deadly cousin the Religious Leader. The absolutely convinced still stir amongst us and regularly commit unsavory and almost unimaginable crimes in the name of the children.
No, it is not perfect at all. But it is life. something that is statically almost impossible to have achieved in and of itself. I am here in this place with these people, living this life and I am grateful for every moment that lead to this moment. Scratches dents, blemishes and all I am me and it is every moment and every person who crossed my path that has made that so.
Thank You. I am grateful.
Pass the gravy.