By JoAnne Young
And with it comes the question: What to be thankful for in 2020?
I’d like to say truth. I’m thankful for truth.
But what truth would we be talking about? Whose truth? Which truth?
I know of a journalist who years ago had “the truth” tattooed onto the inside of his right arm. Noble gesture. As journalists we are seekers of truth. Like, big-T truth.
But mostly our task has been to sort out whatever smaller truths we can find, because like the Ma Bell monopoly, big-T truth has been broken up. And what we are left with are the wiggly truths: my truth, your truth, his truth, her truth, our truth, their truth. Our job is to question them, turn them inside out, and question them again. And when we think we’ve finished, someone inevitably will say, “Do it again.”
Since I’m not in the mood to be so generous with the truth these days, I’ll just say it’s my truth for which I’m thankful, along with the awareness that even my truth cannot be etched in stone.
As much as I would like it to be durable, viable and long lasting, it’s not. It’s just not.
I can sit quietly and watch the world and listen, just for an hour, and see the changes. Some of them are hideous, yes. Some of them beautiful. Many, these days, are head spinning.
I have learned to appreciate the beauty of change through morning walks, visits to the natural world, photography.
If nature doesn’t feel any obligation to hold onto truth, why would we?
It is true the only constant in life is change.
You can stand in the soaking light of a sunrise, but only for moments. You can lock your eyes with an owl peering at you from a high branch, but she will quickly tire of you, spread her wings and fly. A flawless black-eyed Susan will grow imperfect in the strain of an autumn day.
A lot of people don’t like change. I gratefully embrace it.
I learned early in life that I wasn’t going to live in the same house or the same city or go to the same school very long. It taught me valuable lessons. I may have gotten the difficult education of the highly mobile, but I learned to adjust. And the ability to adjust is one of the best life lessons a person can be given. I thank my parents for that.
Life is fleeting.
Sunrises, sunsets, sea creatures and the natural world are fleeting. Youth is fleeting, no matter how beautiful Bob Dylan’s notion is to stay forever young.
But being courageous, upright and strong in the face of change, we can take a shot at that.
Truth is transient. I am buoyed by the knowledge that many who are smarter and wiser than me haven’t been able to make it stay put.
But we still can be thankful for its decisive indecision.
Seek your truth this Thanksgiving. Hold onto it for however long you can. And when its light fades, be grateful and move on.
That may be the only Truth we need to know.
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