My wife tells me that a sequence of the number one has magical properties, having to do with angels. So whenever I see lots of ones together, I think of her. And here we are at Day 111… which happens to be Thanksgiving. Double whammy of magical powers there!
My wife and I spent a very pleasant Thanksgiving together at home. She wasn’t feeling well, so we organized a “Virtual Thanksgiving” where we could stay home and yet still be with family. My dad and step-mom in San Francisco; my sister, her two daughters (our nieces, no less), and my mom in Santa Rosa; wife and myself in Sacramento, all united via the magic of the internet. We enjoyed a nice “meal” together, and shared stories and thoughts like we would if we were actually all in the same room. All in all, a great time was had by all, and we experienced the joy of being together, even if only for an hour.
After this, my wife and I watched a movie featuring a very different type of family dynamic: “Home for the Holidays,” with Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr., directed by Jodie Foster. This movie contains the bitter-sweet, friction-filled interactions of a loving but otherwise flawed American family: sibling rivalries, unrequited loves for another’s spouse, old dramas flaring up, a dramatic dinner scene over turkey, and otherwise reasonable people yelling and screaming at each other.
In one scene that really hit home the movie’s theme of dysfunctional family, Robert Downey Jr., who plays a gay man, is talking to his husband on the phone, and says something like, “How’s my real family doing?” (I could be wrong on the actual words). Then his husband says how much they miss him at home. This reveals how Downey Jr’s character, and maybe all of the family members to some degree, are willing to tolerate each other for this painful, obligatory yearly ritual, but don’t actually feel like they are at home…with their biological family. Love may exist between these people, but it is blotted by lack of communication, lack of understanding, judgments, and a missing sense of connection. Obviously, this is a condition that afflicts many people.
I think people ought to seek out the people they truly feel at home with, as Downey Jr.’s character does.
On reflecting on this, I have written a poem:
“Your True Family”
When you are with someone
And you feel lighter, happier, smarter,
You know that is where you belong.
When you can be yourself,
Not have to measure up
Because here you are the right measure,
You are in the right company.
Go seek out those who see your light
And appreciate you for it,
Just as you are.
Those who see your glow
Those who hear your music
And sing along,
Those who see what makes you precious,
They deserve your presence.
Accept no less than
Of your divinity
From those you spend time with.
When you blow kisses out at the world,
Watch who blows them back.
Look for those receptive souls.
Give them your love
That is your true family.
Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂