Tag: Thanksgiving

Jackson Browne – Before the Deluge

I’ve been moving all day so I’ll keep this brief.  This is my happy Thanksgiving wish for you all.

I think it’s interesting how artists can be ahead of their time in ways that maybe even they don’t understand.  Some works of art only resonate the more as time passes.  Orwell’s 1984 for example.  

I felt that way about Paul Simon’s American Tune, and I think Jackson Browne speaks to our time in a similar fashion in Before the Deluge.

On Gratitude

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

A ritual and a practice.

At our house, when we have Thanksgiving dinner, we like to stop eating and talking to go around the table clockwise so that each person present can say what s/he is thankful for.  When we first decided to do this, some of our guests felt this was awkward, perhaps embarrassing.  But we don’t start with the guests, so they can get an impression of what expressing gratitude feels like. Those in our immediate family understood this and were comfortable enough with it.  After all, at birthdays, we like to go around the table to tell the person celebrating the birthday our many appreciations of him/her.  So on Thanksgiving, it’s a natural enough question, “What are you thankful for this year?”  The answers aren’t always surprising.  We’re thankful for being here another year, for our health however it might then be, for family and friends, for the lives of those now departed, for whatever abundance we may have received, for creativity, for our pets, for our relationships, for our businesses, for our politics, for our dreams and aspirations and hopes, and so on.  You get it, you can probably feel it even reading about doing this.  It’s a Thanksgiving ritual we love.  Feel free to try it out.

I always loved Thanksgiving because, however it was intended or begun, it seemed to be about gratitude.  For years I’ve had a practice I’ve done.  Sometimes I do it every day.  Sometimes I do it once a month.  Sometimes I don’t do it for a long time.  It depends.  What do I do? I make a list of the things I am thankful for.  I number them as I write them down, and I feel my gratitude for each item as I write it before going on to the next.  So, I write, “1. my good health, 2. the life of Dr. King, 3. compassion for my seeming enemies, 4. the novels of Cesar Aira.”  And so on.  Until I reach 50.  I do this, writing and feeling, until I have a list of 50 items or more that I have enjoyed and felt my thanks for.  When I am feeling pinched, stressed, exhausted, depressed, or any other “negative” emotion, it seems to take me a very long time to find items, to write them down and really to feel them.  When I am feeling expansive, relaxed, rested, optimistic, or any other “positive” emotion, it takes me virtually no time to write and enjoy the list.  Why do this exercise?  Because it’s almost magical.  And it lights me up.  Feel free to try it out.

Was it Meister Eckhart who wrote, “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”  I agree.

May all of you have a happy Thanksgiving.

How I Learned to Savor Thanksgiving

I’ve again been entreated by numerous people to post the Thanksgiving Diary that I’ve put up here the past four years. I’m reposting a slightly edited version of last year’s entry. For those of you who’ve read it before, I apologize. I also urge you to read my friend Winter Rabbit’s The Massacre For Which Thanksgiving Is Named.

• • •

I forced myself to watch the History Channel’s Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower last weekend. I don’t feel as if I totally wasted my time. Including performances and interviews of some Wampanoags, descendants of the indigenes who saw the Pilgrims make landfall 388 years ago, made the program a good deal more palatable than it might have been.

I would have preferred a bit more about how one reason the Pilgrims were “persecuted” in England and Holland was because of their efforts to get everyone to comply with their own crabbed view of religion. Something they and the Puritans who followed them also did here in America. Not dissimilar from what some modern day others would like to do now. But what an improvement the program was over past efforts.

Why Do These Things Keep Happening To Me?

Well, that gosh darn liberal media is up to their same ol’ tricks again!  I’m tryin’ to do this cute thing about pardonin’ a turkey there in the spirit of Thanksgiving.  Good patriotic folks love it when I do that stuff!  But can ya trust a liberal elite cameraman to frame the shot to not make me look stupid?  Or clueless?  Or insensitive?  I think we all know the answer to that question.  

(Now, I should warn ya that the following video may be disturbing to some viewers because I attempt to speak the English language.  Oh, and also some turkeys get killed.)

The Massacre For Which Thanksgiving Is Named

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

http://images.google…

“In a little more than one hour, five or six hundred of these barbarians

were dismissed from a world that was burdened with them.”


“It may be demanded…Should not Christians have more mercy and

compassion? But…sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents…. We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings.”


-Puritan divine Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana


happy(ha!) day, folks (with Van Halen)

I’vew been busy… so exuce me for not posting for a while.

Well, today is a day for family. I found out what that means, precisely… at least on the red-headed stepchild side.

No food– NONE– for me, nor for my four year old. my wife got dessert…

so, the cold shoulder.

We should be used to it. We crave peace, we crave understanding.  

Every Thanksgiving, I am glad to be alive

Thanksgiving is always a very strange time, for me. Sixteen years ago, the day before Thanksgiving, I was diagnosed with cancer.

Several weeks later, after the chemo had eliminated the superficial symptoms, and before it had completely debilitated me, I wrote the following:

Giving Thanks for Progressive Activists

by Hillary Rettig and OPOL

Thank-an-Activist

Bleeding heart.

Tree hugger.

Feminazi.

Commie sympathizer.

Traitor.

Thanksgiving

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


http://images.google.com/imgre…

“In a little more than one hour, five or six hundred of these barbarians

were dismissed from a world that was burdened with them.”

“It may be demanded…Should not Christians have more mercy and

compassion? But…sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents…. We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings.”

-Puritan divine Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana

Crossposted at Native American Netroots &
Progressive Historians

How I learned to Savor Thanksgiving

This is a Diary that in one form or another has run at Daily Kos for the past three years. A number of people have asked me to post it again, and I thought my friends at docudharma might also be interested. This is a heavily edited version of last’s year’s piece:

I forced myself to watch the History Channel’s Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower last weekend. I don’t feel as if I totally wasted my time. Including performances and interviews of some Wampanoags, descendants of the indigenes who saw the Puritans make landfall 387 years ago, made the program a good deal more palatable than it might have been.

I would have preferred a bit more about how one reason the Pilgrims were “persecuted” in England and Holland was because of their efforts to get everyone to comply with their own crabbed view of religion. Something they also did here in America. Not dissimilar from what some modern day others would like to do now. But what an improvement the program was over past efforts.

Load more