Monday, November 26, 2012

What happened to the thanks in Thanksgiving?

Before we all indulge in what has become culinary gluttony, we should spend a little time reflecting on what we have in our lives to be thankful for. Four hundred or so years ago, people were just trying to survive, and they sat down with several Native Americans to have a mostly meager dinner of corn, squash, wild turkey, venison and flat bread. And then they prayed in thanks, to their native friends for showing them how to grow most of what was on their table.

How far we’ve come and how far we’ve lost sight of gratitude and thanks giving. If I see one more ad about Black Friday, I’m going to scream. This blatant materialism is shameful. It has no part in the meaning of Thanksgiving. Crass commercialism is unfortunately invading most all of our holidays. I think I know why.
Corporate America drives and oils the consumer machine, of which we are the end part.
I know our society functions that way, but there is a time and place for it.

It’s difficult to be thankful when you’re disabled, but we must be. Never mind the consumer frenzy, never mind the stomach fill to bursting, remember what you do have.
Look around, see not things, see family love, appreciate the trees and gardens, the mountains and the power of the sea. Look up, notice the amazing sky, the sparkling stars at night. Appreciate your part in it. Even though you may not dance anymore, you still have love in your life.

Have gratitude your situation is not worse than it is. You are reading or hearing this article and can read or hear more, in any genre, and that’s good. If you can move your limbs, be thankful. If you are part of a support group, tell them thank you.

Thanksgiving is not about busting your seams, or running to the superstore or mall, it’s about thanks, appreciation, gratitude, and what that means for you, and in you.  

Suburban Chapter

poem from my old house on Windsor Ave.:

                     Suburban Chapter
                Municipal street maintenance boys
                cut the huge dying cedar out front
                as if it was so much refuse.
                From their boom buckets
                they jolly the day away
                as I watch a friend
                carried away by loud coroners.

                Strangled by a sloppy gas leak
                its choked roots succumbed under asphalt
                like a coal miner without legs.
                Malfeasance on an elder.

                Earlier in the week  up the nice street,
                under a burgeoning banana tree,
                a man’s body was dumped,
                tossed in the azaleas like a used six pack,
                his dress was torn.

                looping feline whines fissure the dark
                forcing my audience,
                boasting pathetic territory.
                Not far away, slipping from buses
                come the desperate, who sometimes
                accost gold watched men
                returning home
                as they park their maroon cars.
                Further east
                clapboard slung bungalows
                weather eighty-five years
                of particulate haze
                only to be pelted by semi-automatic bullets.
                Vertical irons manacle homes,
                unnoticed as seeds on a bun.

                But, angry old women still make their way
                to market,
                people walk their dogs
                putting fear aside,
                battling far worse odds on the freeway
                than the caustic curb outside.