Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. On this day last year I was on a train from Paris to Burgundy, France, contentedly watching the French countryside fly by and feeling grateful indeed for the diverse experience of living and the good hearted people I know. I hope you can think of at least one person in your life this day you're deeply thankful for; it's more reassuring than trying to recall "things" we're thankful for, as those "things", whether possessions or health or wealth, are apt to disappear at the drop of a hat and quite unexpectedly and leave you scratching your head, wondering what happened to your simple desire to be loved -- and to love.

I've always been lucky; I think people who see themselves as lucky are. Call it an attitude of gratitude. It draws the good stuff into your life. There are people in my life I'm deeply grateful for; ya'll know who you are because I tend to let you know that. So here's a big muah! on your kissers. And my wish today, my vision, is all of us gathered in one big room around a table of beautiful food and wine all made with love, in a peaceful world where the true wealth of the planet is universally and reverently shared, where no one goes hungry or shelterless, everyone does fulfilling work, no one's afraid of the truth so they tell it, and politicians aren't needed, or they're all Elizabeth Warren --- and that that occasion won't be someone's funeral.

The coast of Carolina, where I am this day, is very different from rural New England. For one thing, it's flat, no hills to catch sounds and trap them in valleys. Although the height and intensity of pine trees here would astound you, given the havoc of hurricanes. The thing I look forward to most on Thanksgiving and Christmas is the silence the world takes on. I walked outside early this morning anticipating that blessed silence I always experienced on Thanksgiving and Christmas in years past up north, even in New Jersey. That withdrawal from the rat race people allow themselves on this day – unless they run out of cigarettes or something. Now, this town is a churchgoing town, and tends to be very very quiet on any given Sunday morning, and today was like that, quiet, but not silent. Not like the silence I used to 'hear' in Maine on this day. The peace. Course I"m closer to roads here. And there is the occasional car. Still, there isn't much going on for a weekday, and I do feel that universal withdrawal. The late sleepers, the quiet early morning risers (I'm one) stuffing turkeys while the rest sleep in. I've always loved being up early, like my dad. HIs elfin joy at preparing a turkey at 6 a.m. or playing Santa before dawn, same thing. Same childlike joy he brought to both. Whatever his faults, he and Mom both taught me to cherish moments like that, that it was the essence of life. God, I miss their smiles, their voices, the unabashed love and pride in their eyes when they looked at their kids. Their love of laughter.

And while most of my family isn't here with me today, I'm grateful for the friends I have, those who've called to see what I'm doing, who email for news, who've invited me to share their table, or carry on down to the "$7.99 turkey special" downtown one very special friend is excited about. (I call her The Queen, cause she is.) I got a card recently from an old, old friend I never expected to see again; we'll visit soon. You just never know what's around the corner. You truly don't. And if you think you do, well, I guess that's the day the life goes out of you and you huddle in a corner waiting for the end. There's only one thing that truly keeps us going in this world, and that's curiosity about what's next and an eager willingness to find out. So we must have the courage to carry on up to that door and open it, step through, and behold the new. Have faith the universe will love us if we just love. And laugh.

Here's a good one. From - "A new survey from Fairleigh-Dickinson University has found that viewers of Fox News are less informed of world events than people who don't watch any news. The study found that Fox News viewers are 18 points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government and 6 points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government compared to those who watch no news. Fairleigh-Dickinson political science professor Dan Cassino said of the study, "the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don't watch any news at all."

Yeah, we knew that.

Holidays can be rough on those who love addicts and alcoholics, not to mention on the addicts themselves. And from the addictions and recovery website The Fix , this commenter nailed it when she said of the addict she loves: "I wish I could say something helpful that would make sense but his addiction is like a woman who understands..Ya just can't compete with that."

"Like a woman who understands..." Like totally. I wonder how long it took her to realize that.

And here's something from a commenter on NPR recently about the failure of the Subparcommittee to come up with a solution to cost cutting:

"Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower had a TOP TAX RATE OF 91% ON BILLIONAIRES & MILLIONAIRES. Further he warned us about the "Military-Industrial-Complex", we didn't listen. He took that money and built the INTERSTATE HIGHWAY the ELECTRICAL GRID and DAMS (infrastructure), then he turned around and built the finest Public School System in the free world. When Republicans asked him to lower taxes he stated ... "We cannot afford to reduce taxes and reduce income until we have in" sight a program of expenditure thatshows that the factors of income and outgo will be balanced."

I may just take to wearing my "I Like Ike" button again.

Finally, for those I miss most on this day who are with me in spirit always. I know because I know they would never abandon me, even in death and because they live on in my bones and in my head and in my heart. So for Mom, Dad, and Patti, and my Eno and Tess and Bim and little Winston, who taught me love and who I'm blessed to have shared part of life's journey with:

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