Is a slippery subject. A thatness… grateful for one thing, does that mean I am not grateful, or perhaps just less grateful, for others? Does a day of thanksgiving erase the horrors glossed over in the teaching of that day to my sons? Or is it an occasion to explain that love and sadness exist simultaneously, always? Gratitude runs headlong into my experience of time. I am grateful for my life–does that mean I am grateful that I did not lead other lives? But if I’ve led several… and sometimes… well, how might it work then?
This fall I traveled for my book, Sleight, not understanding that travel itself is always already timetravel. I am amazed at my friends, old and new. On this last excursion to the Pacific Northwest I took the train from Seattle to Portland. It was wholly alien and familiar. It was the train in Spirited Away. I spent two hours looking out, then two other hours talking with a fledgling mathematician–Ari Herman… who made me imagine my own children in the future tense: a gift of other-directed timetravel I won’t soon forget.
I saw my friends Violette Tucker, and Alf and Yuna Azen, and had such filling conversation and pastries… I hung out my old friend Jon Lilly and his wife Malory Graham–two fantastically vibrant people–then spent an evening with the unbelievably lovely Cheryl Strayed and Brian Lindstrom, met the generous Emily Kendal Frey, was gifted music from Anmarie Trimble of Little Hexes. In short, a magical trip. And yet–there is always and especially home. Of which Dorothy was aware, and of which I resolve to be more cognizant. To be both happy and sad for me and the other me and the other… but mostly happy.