Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Spite of the Obvious: Thanksgiving

Give of yourself in spite of the obvious. Thanksgiving: The Obvious. The obvious is ritual. Old Pilgrim legend embraced in Rockwell dining rooms, domestic American poultry divied up by the Cleaver's cleaver. Candied yams and merriment and please pass the cranberry sauce. Embrace ourselves in glorious grateful perfection. Not.

Offer our gratitudes and share in the bounty, yes. But why must we partake in the charade? We are family, in all of our truly obvious imperfections. We trade the country mile for jet planes and interstates. Weary are the travelers. And more the traveler are we on this particular holiday. We are tired on arrival. Full of rest-stop stress and strain. Come in! Sit down! You've only spent the last five hours on your ass.

No need to pretend all is well in your life, any more then I should mine. This year, Uncle Albert got laid off. Aunt Ida has cancer. Cousin Elvin came out of the closet. We are all disenfranchised in one form or another. But the truth is, we woke up this morning and, by God, there is a shit-load of food on my table! I've got beer in the fridge, wine, whiskey, there's wood for the fire. We have plenty to inbibe, and not just the spirits. I expect some laughter, so loosen up! The only impression to be made here is how much of YOU you leave behind. That, and maybe an impression of Sarah Palin or two.

Happy Thanksgivin'! *wink wink*

Three Word Wednesday offered these: Give, Obvious, Thanks


  1. If I could send you a sound-mail, you'd hear me clapping... Incredibly well said. Hope you have a good one!

  2. Dear MichaelO,


    American Thanksgiving always strikes me as a far bigger thing than what we, your Northern cousins, partake of a month or so earlier.

    (I never know what month "our" Thanksgiving lands on, until it arrives! This is the problem growing up, as 90% of the Canadian popultaion, within 200 km of the Canadian/US border... we are always within the reach of US media stations...)

    And, possibly because of all that, I think I have a handle on the American holiday, both from the importance that American friends invest in this holiday, especially Americans living abroad, and from what I have seen when I lived in the States.

    All that said, I have never seen the underlying social dynamics, from the pragmatic dynamics to the strived for Rockwellian dynamics--and everything in betweeen, expressed as concisely as you have done today.

    Well done.

    You have traced out, implicitly, the stress transformational formulas of family holiday dynamics, from the plane onwards, and outwards and inwards... A sort of precursor to a psychosocial Mohr's Circle of the family, no?

    Maybe I reach to far.

    Possibly the argument is sheer lunacy.

    Nonetheless, it works for me.

    (And, typing this, I feel even more guilty for having called our mutual friend Pascal a few times, rather than Paschal...)

    I think I'll be sending links to your poem to a few friends, today.

    All the best to you and yours.


  3. PS,

    Thanks for the "Come on in My Kitchen" link.

    It is downloaded and playing as we speak. Or, as I type.


  4. Dear MichaelO,

    In your comment on my blog, you asked me what people in Hong Kong eat for Thanksgiving.

    I wrote you a post (accessible by clicking here) to answer your question.

    Happy American Thanksgiving.


  5. Miguel: Blessings to you and yours. Leave it to you to get to the real soul of the day: time to set aside the worries and sadnesses and raise some cheer to the rest of who we always are. You are blessed.

  6. I wish I'd had an invite to your house for Thanksgiving! Spouse and I are now in the habit of turning down family offers because we have no interest in the charade. At home, just us and the critters, we can relax and be who we are.

  7. That last paragraph is good enough to eat : )

  8. perfect... it's all about the turkey and stuffing and electricity... ya know georgia doesn't have any at all, it's all in the hands of the government... but then again we're not talkin politics... you did mention sarah p....