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So here I am: Tired, thirsty, broke, my flight delayed and San Francisco unnaturally sunny. It makes me itchy inside, the sun here, and I hope it won’t be sunny at home. I’ve been too full of sun the past months, out in the desert, drying out. I want some good coastal fog, a thick heavy swath of it, a nice cool blanket to wrap myself in. And then I want to jump in the ocean and stay there until I freeze.

Joko says, In truth I can’t control the world by being very helpful, I can’t control it by being helpless, I can’t control it with my charm or success or aggression; I can’t control it with my blandness or my sweetness or my drama of being the victim. And I let that sink in a moment, because it’s true. I know immediately that it’s true. And I won’t stave off death by being pretty or smart, and I won’t avoid disaster by being witty or strong. Life will do what life does, and all I can do is let it.

And we talked last night about my little exorcism here. It seems to worry you, and I wonder why. Or, rather: It seems to frighten you, to put you on the defensive. And I wonder why.

Today is Thanksgiving: I will be embroiled in food and family all day. I’ve been home not even full twenty-four hours, and already I find myself weary. There is just so much frenetic energy in this house: My brother antagonizing, irritating, out of control and bouncing around; my sister complaining and displaying; my parents bickering, nagging, worrying. There is good energy, too, yes, and love. But I am used to my quiet house with my quiet self, and all this buzzing is hard for me to deal with right now.

I’m trying to breathe with it, breathe through it, withhold judgment. But it’s hard; there are years of reflexive responses ingrained into me, years of resisting my parents and disdaining my siblings, all the negative and pain that wrap themselves around love.

Let me be clear: I am glad to be home. I am thrilled to be home, glad that it is holiday and that I am here to share in it. I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in years, and I’ve missed it. So I’m happy to be here. I’m just tired already of the family politics and the stress of this big house, and this will be a test of my ability to breathe, in out in out, to be where I am, to let the irritation and the anger, even, come and be. To let it all just be what it is: my brother hasn’t learned self-control, and my sister hasn’t learned humility. That’s where they are. It’s okay.

Also: I was irate at him last night because I felt like he wasn’t willing to put effort into seeing me, after I’d flown all the way out here, and I was only going to be here a little while, and should I be more important than whatever it was he was planning to do last night instead of coming to see me? We had a brief, terse conversation and decided we probably wouldn’t see each other until after Thanksgiving, and I was still hurt and angry.

But then the evening passed and I had forgotten about it until I was falling asleep, when I realized that I still was clenching my shoulders and my jaw when I thought about him. I called him, and we talked for a little while, and he’s stressed and I’m sorry and maybe we can see each other after dinner sometime on Thanksgiving, and it’ll be okay. Today I am still a little tense about it, but I’m glad I called him so I don’t have to hang on to that resentment all day.

There’s going to be enough resentment when it comes time to peel potatoes.

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