Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


NOTE: Blogger is having trouble, and I wanted to come back and enable comments at this post, but editing posts is not working for the moment. So I am posting this entire post again. I'll delete the other one (with comments disabled, which I later thought better of) when Blogger fixes this problem.
Harika! On December 9, 2009, at last I am able to edit posts. Duplicate deleted.

All the days gather forward
to this.

We survived another year.

We were held close.
We lost, we gained.

What winds and storms battered
and tattered and made us turn our heads,
- and oh - see something new?

There was good reading - those essays and short stories!
Movies moved and disturbed us.

There were visits and visitations.
setbacks, illness and pain.
Jobs lost.
There were shocking funerals!
There was emptiness, disappointment and longing.
Frustration, loneliness, confusion and fear.

And there were weddings and engagements!
Births and hatchings and
new friends!
Surprising raises and sales of houses.

As things got worse all around,
writers turned words to the heart,
artists applied paint and clay outward to a cause of love,
musicians supported the hungry and desperate,
playing tim-tim-tim-tee-tim.

Friends and strangers alike
paid more attention and helped more.
People paused longer in the hall at the office to talk.
Strangers passed
cash forward in the checkout line at the store.

I feel all this
in my
and soul
in health, compassion,
deeper sadness and broader joy.

All the days gather forward
to this

Happy Thanksgiving.



VioletSky said...

Wishing you all a happy thanksgiving gathering of family.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Ruth!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sanna. I know you already celebrated up there, but I wish you a Happy American Thanksgiving all the same.

Ruth said...

Renee, you have my deep admiration for staying on the stage. Happy Thanksgiving.

Ruth said...

Thank you, dear Gwen, celebrate a second time for me.

Shari Sunday said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Ruth, to you and your family.

CottageGirl said...

Dear Ruth,
Just want to thank you for all of your wonderfully eloquent posts that have made me laugh and made me cry and made me think!
Happy Thanksgiving to you, my dear!

Anonymous said...

Seeing all those Thanksgiving posts makes me wish it was something big in Canada...

rauf said...

Ruth, staying alive in India is a miracle and we have to be thankful for that.
Happy Thanksgiving to you Don Lesley Brian and Peter and Bishop.
Please Enjoy the day.

Babs-beetle said...

We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, though I think we should. I am thankful for so many things.

Have a wonderful time.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Shari, I know your family will enjoy the day with all that food you prepare. I hope you will enjoy it too!

Ruth said...

My dear CottageGirl, sharing this space with you has been one of my very good fortunes. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Tony, and your whole beautiful family.

Ruth said...

Kanmuri, the Canadian one is so much earlier. Ours is one month before Christmas, so it really kicks off "The Holidays." But now, here in the U.S., Christmas decorations and music were being launched in stores before Halloween.

Ruth said...

Hello, rauf, and thank you. Tonight your Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur were guests at the first State Dinner hosted by President & Michelle Obama. That makes me thankful this Thanksgiving week. You can see photos here.

We'll miss Peter, he's so far away. I posted a lullaby for him at Facebook that I sang to him and Lesley when I tucked them into bed.

Ruth said...

Oh, and Mrs. Obama's GOR GEOUS dress was designed by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan. EEEEEEEE. I've never seen her look prettier.

Ruth said...

Babs, I think you should too. It's the best holiday. No religion. No gifts to buy. I love it.

ds said...

And all the same to you, my friend. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ruth said...

DS, my dear friend, thank you. Wishing you, the husband, and the student a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Ruth said...

rauf, I woke up in the middle of the night and recognized the disconnect between what you wrote and what I wrote.

First off, to "survive another year" is a relative state of affairs, depending on our circumstances. We say it flippantly when we've had a stressful job, or we've merely gotten through the monotony or politics, or whatever, intact. And then there are some, like Indian farmers, who may not survive, literally. Or there is disease, or extreme poverty in the cities, or abusive traditions to women, or any other of many ills and evils to fight to survive - and not only in India of course.

Second, my response about a fancy State Dinner entirely missed the point, please accept my sober apology for that. I was, and still am, proud that the Obamas' first State Dinner was for the Prime Minister of India and his wife. It recognizes the interconnection of the world's two largest democracies. India is a very important leader in this new world. Mr. Obama is the first President to bow his head to Asian leaders, and the rightwingnuts are having a fit! How could our numero uno american president show such "weakness"!!! But Mr. Obama understands the importance of respect.

And besides that, I was just happy because of my love for India.

Such is the world and its rituals that utterly fail to matter to those who are desperate. But maybe focusing on our alliance will ultimately result in some help for the poorest of India. These two countries have to get it right - about climate change, about multinational corporations mowing down the poor, about so many things. I don't have much hope that much will happen in these few years, things are not changing quickly enough.

Senator Obama had a photograph of Gandhi on his office wall. I believe his heart is in the right place. But if I were living on the streets in Mumbai or NYC, what difference would it make?

Ok, I'll go back to bed now. Thank you, my friend.

Claudia said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family Ruth! It's not only in India that surviving is a miracle... Also, and most unfortunately, not all those who survive another year feel they have any reason to be thankful. May you always feel you do.

Peter said...

Another year, which you have resumed so perfectly well, obviously tougher than many preceding ones for so many! How nice if we all could feel some gratitude, but it’s not always so easy...
For me personally, the year has been good enough. I try to think of the good things in life now and then, but maybe more for the short really nice moments. Your text makes me realise that I should be more thankful, also generally speaking!

I wish you and your family all the best for the coming one!

Ann said...

A lovely warm setting for a family meal. We don't celebrate here.

Ruth said...

Yes, Claudia, I was thinking the same. Survival does not always result in gratitude. Thank you for your kindness and warmth. You are a very sweet friend, and I am so glad I finally "met" you. Love to you, your husband, and to Ana and Clara. Soon England will be dressing up for Christmas.

Ruth said...

Peter, thank you, my sweet friend. I agree, we could all be more thankful, and I think it helps when we send out gratitude, rather than the opposite. My friend Shaista wrote this, and I am struck with it:

It Is The
Great Achievement
Of My Life
That No One Else
Can Tell
When I Am In Heaven
When I Am In Hell.

- Shaista

Ruth said...

Ann, it used to be common for people to "give thanks" before each meal. I think the custom is waning. I need to stop and be thankful much more often, for the many things that make their way into my home, office and life, which someone else was responsible for.

Susan said...

Dear Ruthie, surviving is relevant to one's personal history. In that respect, we're all survivors and another year has come and gone with much to be thankful for and some regrets.

One thing that most certainly falls into the thankful column for me is getting to know you and meeting you. You have brought me laughter and tears and just generally digging deeper into my paltry brain and soul to understand and embrace your deep ponderings here. I will forever be a changed and improved Susan from knowing you.

Wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving with your lovely family.

shicat said...

Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

Ruth said...

My Susie, friend and sister, I am so much richer now that you are in my world and I am in yours. Your warmth, friendship, affection and support take me to the stars.

Enjoy these days with David, Jaye and his family, Aimee and her family, and David's sister and her husband. No doubt they are already salivating for the meal you are preparing for tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving, dear Susie.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Cathy, enjoy the time with your family. It's such a warm day today, I wonder how it will be Thanksgiving Day?

Barry said...

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. May your day be rich and warm and satisfying.

And may someone else volunteer to do the clean up for you.

gemma said...

Warm wishes to you and yours for a beautiful day of gratitude.

photowannabe said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too, Ruth. I really like the sentiment you wrote on this post. There is much to have gratitude for.
I am greatful for our long-standing blogging friendship.

Cusp said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

I arrived here via dear Signs. What a beautiful and bountiful blog you have created: rich and varied and imbued with real warmth and gratitude.

Bless you

Bob Johnson said...

Ahh, so beautiful Ruth, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Anet said...

OH darn, I'm a day late...
Happy Thanksgiving weekend Ruth!

Jeanie said...

Ruth -- you say it all. And so eloquently. Like you, on Thanksgiving we found ourselves looking backwards at our whole year, rather than forward to the onslaught of red and green (which I love, but I'm not ready.) So many of us have experienced a lot this year -- I really can't remember another year when I've noted this so much in the collective. The good and the bad. But it's the good that moves us forward. I wish you joy on what I hope will be a lovely holiday weekend and look forward to adding our face-to-face sometime very soon! (Now that life seems to be getting back on an even keel for me, it's finally looking like I can 'make plans' again!)

♥ Kathy said...

That was so awesome! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

shoreacres said...

I've been reading through your latest posts but not commenting, except to say of your friend Shaista's poem, "Yes".

Men? The most important one, gone. Family? Mostly taken now by death.
The dearest friends? Lost to war, disease or disappeared into the fog of time.

Holidays? Enjoyed, but modestly, without pretense or denial. It is, in the end, a great achievement of my life.

I know your Thanksgiving was a delightful day, but your continual giving of thanks enriches our lives. On we go!

Oliag said...

Once again, I love your really touched me...and Happy Thanksgiving to you too dear Ruth


Bella Rum said...

Truly lovely. Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving, Ruth.

Christina said...

Hello, my dear friend.
Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful our paths crossed.

Ruth said...

I was touched by your Thanksgiving post for us Americans, Barry. I'm so very thankful for you.

Alas, your wish did not come true about the cleanup, however. Such is the life of women on Thanksgiving. I don't think it will ever change. Yet, as with bearing children, we keep doing it.

Ruth said...

I thank you, Gemma, for coming and saying that.

shoreacres said...

A side note: I've always loved your "curious and shrinking" tagline.

I just found this quotation from Pablo Picasso: “It takes a long time to grow young.”

Happy Sunday to you!

Pat said...

Hope you had a great holiday!

Ruth said...

Yes, Sue, we've known each other quite some time, and you've been a good friend. Thank you for your steadiness and showing me pieces of your world - even in Africa. Wow.

Ruth said...

Cusp, welcome to my room. It looks better with you in it, and Signs too. I met her over at Anna's. I met Anna over at Montag's. I don't remember where I met Montag. I love this place.

Thank you for your kind words.

Ruth said...

Bob, you're back! That made my day. But now I'm sad again, because I am reminded that our hot tub is on the fritz, which means we are not watching the sky. :( Grrrr.

I'll just have to rely on you to show it.

Ruth said...

Never too late, Anet. Thank you for you.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, everyone should read your Thanksgiving post. Sometimes Life gives us a "cosmic two-by-for" (Inge's term), and we wake up to It. That is a Gift of cosmic proportions.

Ruth said...

Thank you, ♥ Kathy. It's nice to have you back.

Ruth said...

Hello, dear Linda. Your comment is simple, and laced with sadness and integrity. As you posted Sandburg's lines:

The people yes
The people will live on.
The learning and blundering people will live on.
They will be tricked and sold and again sold
And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,
The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,
You can’t laugh off their capacity to take it…

Ruth said...

Thank you, Oliag. The piece lacks specifics, but I do feel this holiday anchors me in the year as other milestones don't.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Bella, I hope yours was happy. Ours was.

Ruth said...

Dear Christina, you light up blogworld. I can only imagine what a light you are in a physical room.


Ruth said...

Thanks for that, Linda. Freedom, joy, space, emptiness - starting every day fresh and new. Trying to.

Ruth said...

Pat, thank you. It was just about right. One day with the big family, lots of days with the little family. One BIG missing piece: our son. :(

Deslilas said...

Thanks !
You may find some "Happy Saint Eloi" postcards on
I'm much more interested in ironwork than I used to be some years ago when I was so clumsy in my Engineer school.

Loring Wirbel said...

It's wonderful that you ended this with the simple single word 'gratitude.' I feel it constantly.

Ruth said...

Hi, Daniel, what an interesting chap this Eligius was!

Ruth said...

Loring, I know you do.