Our stories are written daily, sometimes with celebration, sometimes with tragedy, and most often by the ordinary. Today, November 29th, is like every other day in how it embraces all of these
For starters, today is the day after my brother Chuck’s birthday. He’s known me my entire life, just one of two people with that special status. Since I believe in the “week of celebration” birthday theme, I will share my delight in his day with a visit this week to his place in Florida.
Today also reveals special events noted by governments, businesses, organizations with particular causes, and individuals who value an essential aspect of this day. You can find out more here.
For example, Chadwick Boseman Day, whose portrayals of the Black Panther, Jackie Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall inspired us to believe more about what life offers us. Yet, his untimely departure from colon cancer teaches us about the fragility of life and the importance of seizing the present moment.
National “Evan” Day offers a moment to reflect on the “graciousness of life” (the definition of Evan) embodied in those who bear the name Evan. It also directs my attention to individuals like Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal writer detained in Russia for over nine months.
Isdal Woman Day casts a light on unsolved crimes, going back to the 1970s, when an unknown woman was killed near Isdalen, Norway. Her crime has never been solved, nor has she been identified. There are many kinds of grief, but death without closure is one of the cruelest.
National Square Dancing Day’s roots are in 1600s England and Scotland. Though Sheila and I, with all our dancing history, never partook of this form, the music is easy to move to and is indeed folk art. Besides, it would be fun to dress up in the colorful outfits!
Finally, Throw-out Your Leftovers Day is a practical reminder to make room for freshness after the Thanksgiving feast. This celebration is a metaphor for clearing space, particularly as we look to load up on Christmas shopping. This year, I am going to recycle some old items. Last Christmas, my grandson Will left his water bottle at the house where we celebrated Christmas. He’s getting it back this year. (Check out Jerry Seinfeld’s take on how everything we buy immediately enters into a state of becoming garbage!)
During this season, we take time to reflect. Today’s recognitions allow us to look at resilience inherent in every moment, as seen through these and other events. It is certainly appropriate to celebrate the good and to honor the pain, so let’s crank up some good old-fashioned square dancing music. Don’t worry about the steps; just get up and move as Tony Parkes, calling the Auctioneer Square Dance.
© Richard Citrin, 2023