James M. Barrie
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
James M. Barrie
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
"Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow." -- Edward Sandford Martin
"Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings." -- J. Robert Moskin
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I just heard about this from another blogging friend, and I think I may need to participate. If you're a writer of ANY kind (poetry, prose, fiction, articles, whatever) then take a peek.
Writing Our Way Home blog: The River: Jan 2012:
'via Blog this'
Thursday, November 17, 2011
This is a beautiful story of success. My own church does something similar a couple of times a year, getting together with Catholic, Baptist, and Fundamentalist traditions to share in thanks. What a wonderful interfaith vision of growth!
Interfaith service, Nov. 23, in Westford - Westford, MA - Westford Eagle:
'via Blog this'
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
This morning, I was checking my blogroll and You, Me & Religion had this quote to share:
You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down. -- Mary Pickford
This one comes under the "oh so true" category. I have fallen down the last few days, as I suffer from a sinus headache. My household chores have languished as I have managed to do just the bare minimum to stay ahead of Mount Washmore in the laundry room. Yet today, I can get a fresh start. I'm not back to 100%, but I can stand up and do a little more today than I did yesterday. That's what counts! It's not failure because I'm not staying down. Thank you Mary Pickford!
Due to my propensity for quotes, I have decided to create a weekly "Wordy Wednesday" posting. It will be a short quote, sometimes with commentary and sometimes without, depending on my level of busyness. I hope you enjoy the quotes as much as I do!
Thursday, November 10, 2011
|How it should have been.|
Neither of these stories is true. The facts are largely lost to time, but there is a lot of complex (and often horrific) history. The Natives of that area were enslaved by Europeans, and many were wiped out by smallpox and other European diseases brought over by settlers and slavers. There were war-like Natives who wanted nothing more than the ultimate death of the white devils who were stealing their land. There were innocents in both camps, and guilty sinners as well. I have no idea who shot the first arrow or bullet, and I don't think it matters in the grand scheme of things, to be honest. If you want a fairly decent (though I've no idea how accurate) version, you can find it here.
|Horn of Plenty|
We're hearing so much about protests and brutality, hoarding and looting, rape and burglary and other crimes, that it's often hard to think about what we're thankful for. That is the answer to all of it, though. We need to pause, daily, and remember that we're alive, and that (at the very least) is something to be thankful for.
The Horn of Plenty (pictured above) is a widely recognized symbol of Thanksgiving in most of North America. A wicker or woven horn is filled with the bounty of the autumn harvest, overflowing with winter squash, apples and pears, grain, nuts, and berries. It's a representation of the plenty that we live with every day. The poorest in America is still much more well off than most people in other countries, and many times moreso when considering countries like Africa or parts of Asia. The poverty level, per the International Banks, is considered about $1.25 per day in most of the world... and $10 per day in America. That says something right there.
Of course, their $1.25 goes much farther than it would in America, but the idea is there. It might be embarrassing to get food stamps, or to have to go to a food back (lord knows I've done it myself), and applying for Welfare is one of the most humiliating procedures know to man. But we HAVE food banks and stamps and welfare and other social structures in place to help out. Most communities in our country have a place for homeless to stay on cold nights, a place for those without jobs or money to get some food... It might not be as much as we WANT or even as much as we think our poor DESERVE, but it's there. The alternatives in other countries is often simply to beg or starve to death.
Despite being a person struggling to make a living wage, I've always managed to have food on my table. At Thanksgiving, I have always opened my doors. People show up, and it becomes a Stone Soup moment. Everyone brings something, and I manage to paste it together into a feast to celebrate what we're truly thankful for. And that, I believe, is the true meaning of this time of year.
It's about love. It's about sharing. I don't have enough, and you don't have enough, and we're both hungry, but by pooling our resources we can make things a little bit better. By working together instead of against one another, we have the chance to have real things to be thankful for!
That's something our government can't supply, no matter how many free turkeys they give out at food banks. That's something you get only by creating community. I say creating specifically, because I don't mean the physical neighborhood you live in. That's not real community; it's just a place, a location. Real community is built with bridges of love, with garlands of hugs, with wreaths of helping hands. Your community knows you, and your community knows what you lack... and what you have excess of. In community, we can create Stone Soup, a lasting and share-able moment of thanks.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Wiccans see Samhain (pronounced "sah win") as the end of the year, a time between the worlds. Many indigenous religions believe that autumn (especially the time bridging autumn and winter) is a time of closing, of shutting down, of hibernation. It isn't difficult to see why. All around us, things are ending. The trees lose their leaves, grass dies back, cold weather comes knocking, and sometimes the snow comes to visit us a little early. These are signs of the winding down of the living seasons, and the entrance before you is that of the time of sleeping, the season of rest, of introspection.
Here in our house, the general temperature is set to 60F when we're up and about. It's chilly, yes, but not inappropriate. We can wear sweaters, drink coffee and tea and hot chocolate, and get up off our lazy duffs and DO something if we're cold. At night it goes down to 55F, because we have warm blankets and one another to keep warm. It's an interesting experience. It's a wonderful experience.
As you celebrate whatever autumn festivals you do, take time to think about those who have passed on. Raise a drink to them, or better yet offer them a plate of food and a glass of milk on the front doorstep, something our ancestors did as much out of habit as out of fear. Go outside and interact with nature. Collect leaves and press them, or color them with your children. Shovel some snow by hand, if you're physically capable, or play in it for a few minutes if you're not. Put your thermostat down and save both money and peace of mind. Cook a stew and bake a loaf of bread!
However and whatever you celebrate, just be sure to celebrate. Happy Samhain, and have a blessed autumn season.