The Best of Times, the Worst of Times
Are you thankful this Thanksgiving? Yes, I am, with the positives far outweighing the negatives. The inventory of the negatives can sound overwhelming: horrible weekend in Mumbai and Bangkok, sustained economic paranoia, anger over Proposition 8, those spooky "Thank you Governor Palin ads, a number of friends and family members not here that were here last year and even more that I've lost over the past five years.
Yet this year, for the first time in years, i can say that I feel optimistic not hopeful. Optimism, I believe, is grounded in reality but also sees that positive change can and is happening.
When I started this blog more than two years ago, much of it focused on fairly cynical, fey, nonsensical or bitterly ironic humor. There seems to have been a slowly emerging shift as this blog as turned more personal and "serious" with great support and connection with absolute strangers -- from the great circle I met in Manhattan to the new basenji friends, most of whom I've never met, who have supported me through my fostering journey.
Like many people I sometimes I worry that I have put too much hope on the new regime coming to Washington. The high of election night may seem to have faded, but every day I feel a bit more optimistic, even knowing there will be enormous setbacks and challenges, simply from the process of seeing democracy truly happen.
About four years ago, shortly after losing my mother, seeing a second Bush administration on its way, facing my father's Alzheimer's, my cats' health declining, my aunt's suicidal plans becoming evident, I gravitated to the song below "People Who Used to Dream About the Future"by the phenomenal A Girl Called Eddy. it's one of the most wistfully touching and sad songs I've ever heard. (I featured the song in this video wrapping up my life in 2006). I always tear up when she sings "...when did we stop taking pictures?" That line was one of the things that prompted me to start a blog in the first place without any real clarity of where it would go. I knew that I had become a person who had stopped taking pictures because there was not much in my life that I felt merited documenting or cherishing.
This year, I feel cautiously optimistic on many fronts, having taken thousands of pictures over the past couple of years and sensing life is on a new route. After a great weekend of getting with friends, working on household projects and bonding with my gorgeous basenji girl.
This morning I realized that I may have become a person who takes pictures again but I don't cook the way I used to. With bloggers like Mouse, Kusala, Joy, Jill and others that are such marvelous cooks, I have been inspired to do more of that and did a heap over the holiday weekend. No traditional turkey, but I've been revisiting the Angelica Kitchen cookbook. I'm already anxious to make anothe visit back to Manhattan and make a pilgrimage to that wonderful restaurant. Anyone up for a spring blogger meet up there?