At this time of Thanksgiving, in my nation, of course my mind turns towards the things I am grateful for. This year, especially, with all the unrest in the world and my fear that it will soon find its way to my doorstep, my mind drifts towards the things I don’t want to lose. My family and my friends, of course. My belongings, my private library of books, movies, and music, all the stories I’ve collected over the last two decades. The roof over my head. Good food to eat. A soft, warm bed. Clean, intact clothing on my back. And all the wonders of modern technology. Compared to most poor folks in the world, mine is a life of freaking luxury and indolence. There is a lot for me to be thankful for.
Of course I hear the rumors, see the news, feel the tide and flow of events. I do believe a terrible war is knocking on our doors. It may soon force its way into our homes, if we cannot keep the enemy at bay.
What will that war cost us? What will the rabid hatred of our enemies take from us? There are a lot of obvious answers, including tremendous destruction and loss of life all around the world. But even knowing that the conflict could likely endanger my very own loved ones, I still can’t help but feel one potential loss more than any other.
It’s shallow, of course. I must admit that this is shallow of me, to think of any loss as weightier than the loss of human life. But I think of the arts, of music and cinema and books and all the things that are proof of a thriving culture.
I think of all the things I want to continue, cut short and destroyed as surely as human lives. I can’t think of more perfect reflection of the incoming devastation: the world ends, so the stories we are still telling are left forever interrupted, unfinished.
I want these “superficial” things like superhero movies, and my favorite anime, and the books I read, and all that stuff to continue, because it means the world is surviving, there is some joy left to be had from it even in he midst of sorrow, and there is still somewhere in the world that we can call “safe.” This is the essence of hope.
So, in other words… what I dread the most is the disruption of my entertainment.
We’re threatened by World War 3, and my first thought is how it sucks for it to interrupt the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Shallow, and selfish.
But you know what? I’m fine with that.
We live in one of three golden ages of storytelling, alongside the Greece of Homer and the England of Shakespeare, both civilizations which altered the course of history. How amazing is that?
I appreciate this.
And there’s nothing wrong with appreciating what you’ve been blessed with.
I know, all golden ages must end, but I want this one to endure as long as possible. If it does end while I am alive, and I cannot stop it, then I will be grateful to have lived in it in the first place. Whatever voices are silenced before they can finish the stories they are telling, I will count myself honored to have heard them at all. Whatever happens, I will keep the faith of a storyteller, even if I have only campfires to work with, and I will count myself blessed as I collect all the stories we tell in the future.
This is my Thanksgiving.
Whatever happens… I am glad to be alive today, in the days of not one, not two, not three, but many Masters of Storytelling.
Thank you, God, for this great blessing.