EDITORIAL: Finding any reason to give thanks today

Pictured above: Perspective is everything.

 

For a lot of folks, myself included, it’s increasingly difficult to find a reason to give thanks. As I type this, protestors are bravely standing up to a pipeline in North Dakota, families are still without clean water in Flint, Michigan, and the incoming administration is, to say the least, frightening. For many, this Thanksgiving is tough for all of those reasons and more. Today might be the first time that you sit with people, likely members of your own family, who you may not exactly agree with in terms of politics.

Of course that potential exists every single day, and it’s a little absurd to think that you’re going to necessarily find any unity with family, friends, or the public in general in terms of bigger philosophical ideas, but this election is unlike any other in my time. Never have I witnessed such crass hatred, bullying, and ugliness in the world. Never have I been made to feel like an outsider more than this year, only for showing empathy. Not only am I not alone in that, but I’m fortunate in my privilege. But let’s be real too: I’m not alone. We’re not alone and that’s worth giving thanks for.
So how do I turn this into a post that matters to the local scene, which is the central thesis of what we do here? Easy. This community is absolutely amazing and inspires me on a daily basis. I’m inspired by my friend Carrie Neumayer and her work at with Girls Rock Louisville, who are releasing a compilation CD featuring bands formed at last summer’s camp with a release show on December 3rd at Guestroom Records. I’m inspired by my friend Ryan Patterson, who is donating 100% of all profits made at Shirt Killer to benefit the ongoing fight against the Dakota Access Pipe Line at Standing Rock. To our very own Jake Hellman and the Quiet Hollers, playing a food drive benefit for Dare to Care on December 16th.
I could go on. The community that I’m fortunate enough to be part of puts their money where their mouth is. We stand up for what we believe in and value empathy and understanding. Being surrounded by so many wonderful and caring people is absolutely the best thing I can be thankful for, especially in a year as rotten as 2016.
On a personal note, I am fortunate enough to welcome my son into the world. I made a mix of music to play during the birthing process and snuck in a Siberia track, the ambient duo I performed in with my dear friend Michael Seymour (currently a member of Visiting Nurse alongside our friend Jon Hill). The track was called Hearth and my wife found it soothing. Not only am I thankful to have such a beautiful family, but that I am lucky to play with some of my best friends making exactly the kind of music that I want to make.
If this Thanksgiving is hard, you’re not alone. If you need help reach out, because someone somewhere loves you.