Happy holidays, sweet readers. Today is Black Friday and that’s actually a flawless description of the moment I’m typing in now. I’m feeling rather overwhelmed by the dark…mostly because I’m staying with my little sister and she’s sleeping, so I can’t turn on any lights. I’m also supposed to be vewy, vewy quiet, so she can hunt wabbits in her dweams, but she’ll have to tolerate the clickety-clacketing, since I have pirated wifi and as long as I have the mighty iBook and a connection, the 55 will go on.
I spent my day in transit; six hours of flying through three airports (with a two-hour layover) and one misplaced, gate-checked, carry-on bag later, I was back in the state where I once played as a toddler. I arrived in mukluks, the memory of last night/the season’s first gorgeous snow fall in DC dominating my thoughts like a new crush. Still swoony for Frosty, I stopped cold once I left the artificial climate of the airport and saw…a giant cactus. In 70 degree balminess. What an amazing country this is, from one end to the other.
My ultra-vegetarian family never did celebrate Thanksgiving (“such a typically American approach…to be grateful ONCE a year”), so I didn’t mind traveling today, but I looked at my fellow passengers on each PACKED leg of the journey and wondered about them. Surely they were trying to get home to a TurDuckEn or something brined or deep-fried. Maybe it even tasted familiar.
What did you eat? Did you create your own holiday with the family you chose vs the one you were born to, or did you go home? Did anyone gobble an all “brown” feast, with nary a cranberry in sight? Where YOU responsible for all that cooking?
Thanksgiving is for family but it’s usually staged by women. My Uncle in Maryland was a rare gent who cooked with Auntie, side-by-side; she handled the Amreekan fare while he made a most excellent sambar, to go with the Mallu portion of the menu. I remember adoring him for that. Most of my friends, no matter their ethnicity, had just their mothers stressing out over creation.
Women are the keepers of traditions, the path to religion and the source of life itself, which is why the following statistic (Thanks, Kenyandesi) left me queasy:
One in six women worldwide suffers domestic violence — some battered during pregnancy — yet many remain silent about the assaults, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
No, I’m not surprised that women are such targets, or that the pain is so widespread…but to put such an accessible number on it–again, “one in six”– is like a bracing slap in the midst of all this fuzzy, post-prandial contentment.
Each week I throw out themes because you seem to enjoy them, but I try to emphasize that no one minds what you write your nanofiction about, so long as you just write. So go ahead, write anything, and then leave your contribution (or link) to our beloved weekly project in the comments below. But.
If you are stuck, if your screen is blank and your fingers are stiff above the keyboard because you don’t know how to direct them, then know this: today is the U.N.’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Even if you don’t commence your brainstorming with that in mind, then maybe you are thinking about women or violence or the collective secrets a community keeps. Suddenly this Friday is Black for another, sadder reason. “One in six”? That’s too much pain.
For every woman who is going to be at the mall in a few hours, excited about “doorbuster” specials, another is crying herself to sleep. Hell, the former could have been the latter, before waking up to tackle the day’s legendary sales. “One in six”. Sigh. One in a million would be inexcusable…