PAUSE and GIVE THANKS

Tisquantum

Tisquantum

It’s a Strange Holiday, isn’t it?
It Moves…
The Fourth Thursday in November could be as early as the 22nd or as late as the 28th
It’s Late this year.
And that shortens the Shopping Season between Now and Christmas
And that makes the Primary Beneficiaries of Capitalism angry.

Growing Up, there was this Marvelous Long Weekend in November
You could do whatever you liked.
Relax…
Play….
You could Work on the weekend — Not ThanksGiving Day, for most of us.
But Retail Jobs had shifts available Friday and Saturday.
You could tackle one of those Projects you’ve been putting off for a long time…
A few people might begin to think about Christmas, but that was not a particularly popular thought. Certainly there was no pressure about it.
CHRISTMAS was Next Month’s Holiday
Back then, there was an innate Cultural understanding of
the Value of Staying in the Present Moment.

I remember F.W. WoolWorth and Co.,
also known as “the Five and Ten,”
or “the Five and Dime” to some,
putting out its Christmas Decorations in mid December
and My Mother and all her friends complaining about how they were Rushing the Season…

As the Year’s went by, we got busier.
Modern Conveniences taking increasingly more of our time,
The World spinning Faster,
Christmas Decorations started to arrive on display earlier and earlier.
GivingThanks Day from the Moment SANTA arrived at the Parade.
Then, even Before GivingThanks Day
Halloween
And Now, Labor Day

20141116_111405

This MoneyGrabbing Bacchanalian Orgy of the 1%
Has tampered with our innate ability to Live in the Present Moment.
Let us Reclaim that!
There is a BEAUTIFUL Holiday Here to be Celebrated.
Now.
Today.

Yes!
It is difficult in the Post-(God Willing!)-Reagan-Bush Era to imagine that there is anything more important than Shopping.
What does it do to the Culture and Values of a People
when in the midst of a Tragedy the Size and Scope of the 9/11 Attacks
on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon,
Hungry for Words of Leadership and Comfort from the President of the United States,
He finally speaks and tells us to “Go Shopping?”
That’s what he said.
Remember Hearing that?
He had come across as an Illiterate many times before;
Couldn’t pronounce the word “Nuclear,”
And when the attacks happened, he just sat there in that Kindergarten Classroom for five or ten minutes, turning the pages of a Pre-School Book.
But when the time came to address a Nation,
Wounded and in Need of True LeaderShip,
All that All the President’s Horses and All the President’s Men
Could come up with was,
“Go Shopping.”

So are we surprised that this Beautiful Holiday —
This Four-Day Weekend —
Feels blurred by some seeming New National Responsibility
To Go Shopping?

RECLAIM IT!
THIS TIME is YOURS!
This is Time for Ourselves
Time to be With Friends and Loved Ones
Time for Personal Edification
Time for Creative Accomplishment
Time to Relax and Recharge and Rejuvenate
Time to Celebrate
Time to Enjoy…
20141001_235040
Let’s Go Back to that Pivotal Moment in our Nation’s History.
And Let’s Imagine the President of the United States,
when asked what we could do, had said,
“Pray!”
“Help Others!”
“Believe in a Better World!”
“Check in on Your Neighbors! Be there for One Another!”
“Spend Some Time with Loved Ones!”
“Forgive!”
“Search out a Forgotten Friend!”
“Mend a Quarrel!”
“Give THANKS for the Life we Have and this Great Nation standing Strong with So Many of Us Willing to help!”
“The U.S. is ‘Us’!” could have been the new Slogan of the Times…

This GivingThanks Day Holiday is your Own to do with as you like.
If Advance Planning for Christmas is your thing, then Do it!
If Online Shopping is Fun for You, Click Away.
If getting on Line at WALMART at 5am for Bargains gives you a rush,
Then by All Means, Get Out There!
But this Year, try not to Kill Anybody.

Jdimytai Damour

Jdimytai Damour

Let us keep in mind the Possibility of Getting Back to
Living in the Present moment.
Let us give a Little Thought to what this Holiday is About.
Thanks Giving.
Giving Thanks Day.
A day to Pause and Give Thanks.

A Day to Celebrate Immigration!
Some don’t like to Celebrate this Holiday.
Some feel it is a Commemoration of the White Europeans taking Advantage of the Native Americans before stealing all of their Land and killing so many of them.
Somewhat Bleak, but not unfounded.
Isn’t the Story of the First ThanksGiving that the White Puritanical Pilgrims gave Thanks for their first successful Harvest, and celebrated with their Native American Friends, the Wampanoag, who taught them to plant Maize and how the Crops here worked…
And didn’t these Pilgrims expand Westward?
And didn’t the Indigenous People here lose their Land to these Immigrants.
And are not two descendants of these Immigrants, BOEHNER and MCCONNELL, this week suing President OBAMA for his move to allow other such Immigrants to stay here on this Land with us, as well?
Perhaps their “We were here First” attitude is uncharitable and unfounded.
If TISQUANTUM and the rest of the Wampanoag Tribe had adopted their attitude,
Their ForeFathers would not have been allowed here
And there would not be a ThanksGiving…
How Complex are these Issues!
Such a Strange Holiday.

Here’s a few more pieces to the puzzle of how it came about:

Bet You Didn’t Know: ThanksGiving from History.com

A few perspectives on ThanksGiving from the MANATAKA AMERICAN INDIAN COUNCIL
Now…
For Today…
What would YOU Like this Weekend to be?
Whatever one may feel about this Holiday’s History…
Whatever one’s Politics…
Think of the Name.
Thanks Giving
Giving Thanks.

Whatever its Bloody and Questionable History
Whatever unsanctimonious Past Presidents have done
Whatever the Culture of VICTOR LEBOW may be Shouting at You
Whatever Questions you may have
Whatever Else needs to get done
Or that you may Perceive needs to get done…

Pause
and Give Thanks!

What do you have to be Thankful for?
What would you like to express Thanks For?
What’s Good in Your Life?
What makes you want to Dance Naked in Celebration with your Arms outstretched?

Got a phone?
A television?
Hot and Cold Running Water?
Good for You!
Not everybody does.
Dance in Gratitude.
Dance in Celebration.

Live in a Country where there is Freedom to Speak Out?
Where there exists the possibility of dissent as Patriotism?
Where you have the Right to Vote?
Good For You!
Not Everybody Does.
Now Exercise those Rights and Use them well.
Dance in Gratitude.
Dance in Celebration.

Got Gifts?
A Gift for Creating Something?
A Gift of Listening — of Being Good Audience for Others?
A Gift of Writing,
Drawing,
Singing,
Being Punctual,
or Just Willingness to Learn?
Good For You!
Not Everybody Does.
Dance.

My Kitchen StoveTop at 10pm last evening, in preparation for the Feast of Giving Thanks

My Kitchen StoveTop at 10pm last evening, in preparation for the Feast of Giving Thanks

This is the Season of ThanksGiving
It is a Season of Gratitude for these Countless and Infinite Gifts we Enjoy EveryDay
It is Time to Express Gratitude for the Gift of the Miracle of This Day!
Grateful for the
Miracles and the Details and the way the Universe takes care of us
Grateful for the 46 Million Turkeys estimated to be consumed in the United States today
Grateful for Family and Friends
The People and Gifts and Challenges that Teach Us
Grateful for Communication and Tears and Laughter
And this Day…
Let us Dance Together!
In Gratitude.
In Celebration.
It is ThanksGiving.
Let’s Dance!

So Much to Be GRATEFUL For...

So Much to Be GRATEFUL For…

Happy Giving Thanks Day!

# # #

Leave a comment

4 Comments

  1. revajm

     /  November 27, 2014

    Wonderful….Happy Thanksgiving!!! Love YOu, Angela

    The Rev. Angela Maddalone, Pastor Palisades Presbyterian Church P.O. Box 687 Palisades, New York 10964 845-359-3147 pastorajm@gmail.com palpresny.org http://www.facebook.com/ThePalisadesPresbyterianChurch

    Reply
  2. In this moment, I’m thankful to be able to read this post by someone who has the gift of writing most powerfully. Dancing!

    Reply
  3. The real heart of Thanksgiving here, Arnold. Growing up in Idaho, I loved Thanksgiving even more than Christmas, which I adored. The family was more relaxed. We feasted and laughed and played cards with a house full of loving aunts and uncles and cousins. What could be better? My life’s so full of blessings my cup ran over a long time ago and keeps flowing. Thanks for the beautiful reminders to us all.

    Reply
  4. Atif

     /  November 28, 2014

    Happy Thanksgiving Arnold.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: