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Thanksgiving '07: Happy Birthday to Me

11/22/2007 10:49 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Thanksgiving was supposedly started as a feast and joyous celebration of making it through another year, of acknowledging the toil and strife and the people that helped us along the way. Lincoln (a personal favorite) made it an official holiday and although it originally was August 6, it now falls in November and this year on my birthday. I am grateful to be born. Life is precious. I am the mother of two adopted children so birth and and the giving of life is monumental in my home despite it's political toolmaking.

I am grateful to my mother for laboring on my behalf despite her secret desire to get back into her size 17-inch waist that I stretched out.

I am grateful to her and my father and my step-father's patience and guidance and complete disregard.

I am grateful that there is life out there for someone who isn't a scholar. I wear my combined 760 SAT scores like a medal around my neck that ANYONE can make it despite being a round, square, gay, alcoholic, liberal, pampered peg in the proverbial square hole of what is the norm.

I am grateful that I am aware of the terrible legacy this generation has created and the wonderful technology that support this apathy.

I am grateful that someone wanted to share his life/heart/mind with me and that we have been able to raise our children in an attempt at our own family and not that we just perpetuated our own family histories.

I am grateful to have arrested and faced down my alcoholism and drug dependency and that my children and their children will not see me in an altered state, other than Idaho.

I am grateful for my friends who choose to know me and secretly see my snarky side and still let me be part of their lives. I am grateful that my children appreciate that I am trying, that I am FAR from perfect (a terrible name for a movie BTW) that I am locating myself while trying to help them locate themselves. I am grateful that there is love around me from them.

I am grateful that I live around trees, that there are books and music and photographs and movies and yes, I am grateful that there is musical theater. I am grateful that my dogs trust me. I am grateful that I trust me.

I am grateful that I can question our government and HATE the policies it is enforcing in my name and still love our country and its great promise. I am grateful to be alive and aware and up at 5a.m. on my birthday. As I was taught or read in the tabloids, I can't remember, that giving is better than receiving I get to give you all a gift. It is one of MY favorite things and it is free:

"Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man (and woman). Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man. And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.

And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost."

- John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Birthday, Tell the Truth, Make Good Choices.

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