Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Reflections

I love Thanksgiving  Day.   I love holidays where the usual rhythms are interrupted, where the whole day can become a meditation.

My daughter had an online teacher last year who wrote to her students something like "Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate the theft of lands from the native inhabitants."  It was an inflammatory way to raise awareness of or object to a situation that was, indeed, painful, and destructive in our history.

The only way I know to address such wounds is to practice awareness, gratitude, and compassion.

This is not to say I'm very good at it.  And this is why I am happy to have days like this where I can spend a little time with my thoughts, aided by the wisdom of others.

Early this morning, reading some short pieces from John Philip Newell's blog was a good way to start the day.  It set a tone for opening, deepening.  I will do some painting when I finish this writing.  Exploring a bit about the subjects before I start pulls me into another world.  You know, how one thing leads to another ?  Sometimes, when you're doing renovations, for example, it feels like a burden!  But when you're doing research, it can be fascinating.  Children are great for starting you off on this kind of discovery.  I love their questions.  When you have time to really listen and follow up,  it's amazing the things you can learn, the connections that become apparent.

Later, I'll bake some Monkey Bread to take to my daughter's for dinner.  Thinking about the bread offers a whole other area for meditating - how many years have I been doing this?  Who helps make it possible?  How am I connected to all those who have engaged in this work for thousands of years?

Being with family and friends is a joy; remembering those who are alone, ill, imprisoned suffering, reminds us of our limitations.

I've been slowly reading In the Sanctuary of Women by Jan Richardson, and I leave you with one of her blessings:

"On this day and all days,
may you go in the company
of the God who makes
a way for you."

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