Thanksgiving is about family, not just genetic but spiritual. Kurt Vonnegut called the people who don’t happen to be related to you but who belong together with you in some more meaningful and fundamental sense your “karass.”
Well, we spent the day before Thanksgiving celebrating the holiday with our karass, the group of smart, confident, body-positive women (and two or three supportive men) who populate New York’s most unusual book club. There were books on hand, ranging from The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin to Stop This Man! by Peter Rabe, but we didn’t get much reading done, not when there was wine to drink and truffle-laced pizza to nibble and chocolate fondue to finish things off; not when there were old friends and new to catch up with, some having come from as far away as Texas and California to be with us; not when there was the joy of lounging about in the warm environment provided by Ayza down on Carmine Street, while outside the giant plate-glass windows freezing sleet was coming down hard. (Ah, the looks we got from some of the startled passers-by! What must they have thought? An oasis in the desert couldn’t look more mirage-like than we must have on this cold, cold, wet day.)
It is a wonderful feeling to share the holiday with people you care about. Getting to share it naked in the heart of Manhattan makes it even better. We wish all of you could have the same opportunity, wherever you might be — if not this time around, then sometime in the not-too-distant future.
And to all the members of our karass, in diaspora around the world, we wish a very happy holiday season. Remember, if you ever find yourself in NYC, you’ve got friends who’d love to meet you.
(How? Simple. Just drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.)