Friday, November 27, 2009

"I shall never finish up..i'll make myself no man"

I dreamt of her again. Nothing happens. She just stands there as the dream goes on. Things are happening all around me, different scenarios, and she is simply a witness, never playing a part, never commenting. She just stares.

My sister excitedly runs downstairs to the head of the pull-out bed sofa I was sleeping on,
"The parade is on!!!!"

Thanksgiving 2009 has begun.

Our family Thanksgivings are always pretty standard. It's that traditional imagery of tons of food, family, football, and little kids running around. And I love it. It really is great. My family is a such a beautiful group of people and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

One thing that has taken root in the most recent few family gatherings has been these long in depth discussions between my dad and my uncle and I. It usually starts as a political rant and slowly everyone but us seems to leave the room, assuming that we're arguing. My aunt always shakes her head disapprovingly and says that we "shouldn't be talking like this on Thanksgiving, on a family get-together."
I always try to tell her we are simply talking but she always shakes her head and goes to start the Thanksgiving cleanup.

I always appreciate these talks. We compare ideas and politics we feel strongly about. We never usually come to a resounding agreement, but we play devils advocate, respecting each others opinions and trying to understand the other side of things.
Tonight, something a bit unsettling eventually came up. My uncle claimed that when I "grow up" I'll become jaded.

My dad soon left and it was just my uncle and I. We walked outside and took in the cold night air. He said he finds it hard to find beauty in the world sometimes...more often than not. And this scared me. Because I countered with a notion that no matter what I go through, I can always find some beauty, some goodness in the situation at hand. Its something I attribute to my relationship with God. At any point, I can look up at night and see the binding connection between man and God...the sky. That big blanket of stars. That serene gaze looking back into my unsettled mind. I told him all of this.
My uncle said that he worries about raising his daughters so much, what decisions to make, how to suppress this fear he carries. He worries about finances and career to an alarming degree. "It never used to be like this. It's just been these past few years. I used to see 'the stars'" His views of the world were so jaded. I love my uncle. He's an amazing man who does so much for his family and community. But his overall perception of the world was that it was all for nothing. He didn't say this. But by the way he was talking, it seemed like he was only looking forward to getting by. To making his best attempt at life. Which isn't wrong. But what about the beauty! What about the amazing things that have happened in his lifetime? The sky! The sunrises, the roadtrips, the smiles on his little girls faces?

Its good that he was getting this all out. Our family doesn't talk openly like this a whole lot. He seemed much more relieved when I assured him that his daughters were beautiful girls who were so mature and well behaved. He was doing an amazing job. He wasn't emotional about it all. He was stern and wise. Simply telling me how things are.
I hope this opens his mind more to that beauty you can always seem to find in good times and bad, if you look at life the right way. And to never become too content in your surroundings. There a whole wide world out there.

I'm thankful for my uncle, and the beauty God has put in front of our eyes if we choose to see it

I hope I can look back on this and still agree with myself.


redneckzilla said...

Ahhh those important, intimate memories. Harvest them into a film script, make millions from them.

Austin said...

Ok! Done.

Now what do I do?