Monday, February 16, 2009

Today Is A Holiday!!

In my little corner of the world it is a holiday today. Here in Ontario we have 'Family Day' in February. The idea is that we should celebrate family. In many ways the word 'family' has come to be one that causes me to shudder. Let me list one or two reasons why ...

1) As someone who works with people who have been victimized, I learned early and often that 'family' had capacity for hurt on levels that can't be properly understood. Under the umbrella of 'family' children have been victimized, women terrorized and men destroyed. The building block of society has sometimes been made of little more than straw and mud.

and if that ain't enough ..

2) Am I tired of 'family values' as being code for 'prejudice' and 'persecution'. I resented 'family' being politicized and made a place of unwelcome. The family of God seems to have the bastard son, the wayward daughter, the unwanted child. It's hard, even now, to think of family values without the taste of bitterness.

So, you can imagine that I am a little ray of light on family day.

Well I am.

So There.

Because I love family. I love the concept of people of common cause, of common vision, of common purpose setting about to make family. I love feeling that sense of belonging when I can be in a room with strangers and yet feel understood. I love that sense of warmth when my mind embraces another's idea, my heart grabs hold of another's words, my soul holds on to the loving timbre of a reassuring voice.

I really do love family. I believe it is possible to create communities, intentionally, families willingly. I believe it is possible to forge links more durable than blood, more lasting than history, more powerful than difference. I understand 'family' as a verb not a noun ... family is something you DO. Family is something you MAKE. Family is something you CREATE. It's not a turkey diner, it's conversation at the table. It's not presents under the tree it's presence through the year. It's much more, much much more.

So it's family day.

To members of my various families, have a wonderful day.

And here, especially to my Blog Family - feel yourself cherished today ... because you are, by me.


Anonymous said...

One of the things that drives me crazy about the use of the term 'family' in political discourse is the way that the people who use it rarely feel the need to help people form and sustain families other than to attack the things they classify as 'not family'. I'd love to see 'pro-family' politicians advocate policies such as: immigration laws which promote family reunification, redistribution so that people can spend more time with their families rather than having to work three jobs and penal systems which prioritise keeping convicts in prisons close enough for their families to be able to visit. These kinds of policies could make a real difference to family survival.

Anonymous said...

I feel honored to be part of your "blog family" Dave. Family is where you make it.


FridaWrites said...

Happy family day! (late)