Our theme for the month of November is “the periodic table.”
Give thanks for the scientists.
Give thanks for the engineers. For the chemists and the botanists and the astrophysicists and the hematologists and the neurolinguists and the science guys and the teenagers with Diet Coke and chewy mints.
Give thanks for the nerds. For those who know how to harness a happy accident and everyone who’s ever gotten a little too excited about a big fish.
Give thanks for the idiots. For the ones who licked chemical-crusted beakers until they figured out what made their fingers taste so sweet and who leapt from towers because they believed in their self-made ability to fly.
(Give thanks for the leveler heads that came after.)
Give thanks for the organizers. For the ones who slotted the world into a hundred and eighteen squares and saw that as the beginning.
Give thanks for the ones who said no. For those who saw polio-mangled limbs and heard their mothers cough themselves to blood and refused to believe anything—God or not—would build such a world. For the ones who said, “Not anymore.”
Give thanks for the ones who said yes. For those who were told that they couldn’t do this work because they had the wrong genitalia or the wrong skin or loved the wrong sort of person. For the ones who were stolen from and turned away and driven to drink and worse. For the ones looked over their shoulders at history and leering men and still said, “Yes, I can.”
Give thanks for the survivors. For the Radium Girls and breaker boys, for gay men stalked for science and black men destroyed for white lives. For Anarcha. For those burned and sewn and frozen because progress was more important than pain. Give thanks and grieve for the ones who lived to bear the scars.
Give thanks for the ones who didn’t.
Give thanks for the ones who don’t look away. For those who prophesy the future that money and convenience and shame will create. For those who shout down ignorance even past the point of no return, who know we are less than two minutes from midnight and continue anyway.
Give thanks for those who’ve been proven right.
Give thanks for those who’ve been proven wrong.
Give thanks for those who still have something to prove.