Monday, November 30, 2009

thanking in prose

At both of the dining tables to which I was privileged to have been invited this past Thanksgiving, toward the beginning of the meals, the usual suggestion was made of sharing for what each one of us was most thankful. Naturally, there was a collective grumble from the more pragmatic dinner guests. I too shrank away from participating in this activity, though not because I am resistant against such opportunities that serve as un-trafficked avenues for maudlin confessions that inevitably devolve into primetime-TV-esque saccharinities of friendship and love—quite the contrary, I welcome and enable them—but at the moment, I could only think about my recent job loss and, in turn, the confrontation with reality that is my failed adulthood. This hardly put me in the mood to entertain such holidayisms, so I diffused the activity at each dinner with my prudence and humor. I’m resolved to keep that act of diffusion vague to get into the meat, the reason for this blog post.

It wasn’t until later, a day later perhaps, that I realized that I was thankful for many things. My mother of course is one of them. What that poor woman has to put up with with me I can never gesture toward understanding. My friends and the network of support I’ve managed to fashion myself here in the Bay Area, however inconsistent the support seems to be. I am thankful for it. I am thankful that I attended Berkeley as it gets proven to me daily that the quality of my education there has put me ahead of a large percentage of the waking world, and that it is an asset that feels like a curse but is mostly an asset. I am thankful that I lost 30 pounds and managed to keep it off. I am thankful for modern medicine; more specifically, I am thankful for Propecia. I am even thankful that I am gay and that I am Asian and that I am brown. If I weren’t I don’t think I’d be as strong as a person, as eloquent, as educated, as fashionable, as tasteful, as cultured, or as special of a person. And I am thankful that there are enough politically driven people out there to fight for my rights so that I can focus on art, which brings me to a new thing this year, for which I am thankful, because I’m always thankful for these aforementioned things.

I am thankful to have poetry in my life. I am happy, and couldn’t be happier (the accuracy of this bromide deems it unavoidable), that I have decided to subscribe to a life of reading and writing poetry. I feel lucky to have fallen down the rabbit hole of this art form that most individuals only experience partially through the miscellany of audio and visual culture, or overtly and obsequiously at weddings and funerals, and that I get to—because I allow myself to—take it in in all of its awesome distillations. Even now, I am thinking in poetry.

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