Table of Enough

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto

Today is Thanksgiving here in the US.  I was going to muse on why we still celebrate this holiday–a holiday that continues to glamorize Native American genocide, food waste, shopping for shit we don’t need, and canned cream of mushroom soup. I’ve posted about being tired of the tremendous amount of work to prepare and cook for this holiday for the past few years.  I’ve said how much I used to love this day, but haven’t in a while.  Yes, every year I swear never again, and yet here I am, one eye on the clock because the shelves in my fridge are warping under the weight of foods waiting to be cooked.

I was going to muse about what America means.  President Obama tells us these hideous pronouncements of wall building and turning our backs on refugees aren’t what we stand for.  I like Obama, I like what he stands for, and I agree that it shouldn’t be.  But let’s be honest, America has a long history of fighting to reject immigrants and refugees, an even longer history of racism.

If you are someone who believes “freedom of religion” includes all religions, if you believe “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” is still valid today, this is an exhausting and often disheartening time.  I still hear people moaning that only English should be spoken in America.  Sigh.  English is the language of the US, and it doesn’t take a damned thing away from anyone when other languages are also spoken.  Not only doesn’t it take anything away, it’s a bonus.  “Global community” isn’t just a phrase for Facebook and college admissions essays.

The thing is, sappy as it might sound, I still love the idea of Thanksgiving.  The sentiment of it, anyway.  I like the idea of a day to stop and pay attention to the privilege of enough to eat, having people in our lives whom we love and love us.  Should having enough to eat be a privilege?  I don’t think so, but it is.  I know it is when I look at the photos of the Syrian refugee camps.  I know it is when I walk down the streets and through the subways, seeing those who are homeless and hungry.   My children have attended schools with classmates who live in mansions, brownstones, projects, and shelters.  When you know this, when you know the kiddo waiting for their turn with the brown crayon right next to your kiddo, sharing Saltines and apple juice with your kiddo,  isn’t going home to a full table, it isn’t theoretical.  Yes, yes, we should all give thanks every day for what we have, but really, many of us don’t.

I’m not going to post a million Thanksgiving food pictures.  Have faith, Fringelings, my cranberries are glistening in their zinfandel bath and the skin on my pernìl is crisped just so.  I will post a few pics from the past weeks that make me smile, and hope they do the same for you.

Love when I luck into a decent shot of the moon.

Love when I luck into a decent shot of the moon.

This guy comes to visit me regularly, but I suspect he's going to fly south soon.

This guy comes to visit me regularly, but I suspect he’s going to fly south soon.

zoanthid colony in the tank.

zoanthid colony in the tank.

Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate, and if not, happy Thursday.

14 comments

  1. No doubt, the United States is a land of plenty for some; of want, for others.

    I was at the grocery store with my mom yesterday. Unbelievable, what people in this country have access to. Anything they want, IF they have the means to get there, IF they have the means to buy it. . .

    I live on a blue collar street in a blue collar town, in the shadow of Detroit. My street is a melting pot: Greeks and Blacks and Whites and Mexicans, racially-mixed families. . .I’d like to believe that each speaks a language that says We live here, We belong here, We are safe here, We are welcome here. I’d like to believe that this day, as every day, cupboards are full and bellies aren’t empty.

    I have a home, a loving husband, a 22-lb. turkey in the fridge for Sunday’s belated Thanksgiving dinner. We have decent health, decent health insurance. I can write what I want and say what I want and go where I want, and war is over there, terror hasn’t touched my little town, my little street…

    I hear what you’re saying, mrs. fringe. So what am I saying? I guess I’m saying that I know how good I have it, that I’m grateful to live here–‘here’ being my little town. ‘Here’ being this country, as fallible as it is. As unfair as it is. As fucked-up as it is. And while I admit to the unconscionable inequities and injustices–past as well as present–taking place in this country of ours, I am grateful and thankful to be here.

    And yeah, I’m one of the lucky ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being happy and feeling safe where you are is good, and there is much luck involved in where we live, and whether or not we have enough. But the greatest advantage I see for us as humans who live here is the freedom and ability to question and speak up when we see injustice. Life is never going to be 100% fair and equitable, but injustice should be unacceptable to all. My “town” has been touched by terror. Hell, I think we’re likely the favorite target in this part of the world–and I still don’t want to give up freedoms, or stop sharing the bits I’ve got to share, in the interest of greedthatwepretendissafety.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. Terror and injustice knows no bounds, it seems. There will always be those who seek to trample on the rights and liberties of others, to further their own agendas. But when they do, those of us who can, need to call them out, stand up to them, do what we must to stop them. In It’s never been more true, nor more imperative, to own up to that responsibility. To speak out for those who can’t. Borders be damned: we are our brothers’ keeper.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We do not have thanksgiving here in Australia and even the thought of having two HUGE celebrations (thanksgiving and Christmas) only a few weeks apart exhausts me – so I empathize with you having to go through it. yet, I also think it is great that you have this day to stop and pay gratitude for everything around in our free society.
    I enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing your side of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! It’s true, there’s good and bad to a national holiday of paying gratitude. The two huge (and so food focused) celebrations ARE exhausting. And frankly, Thanksgiving was cemented as a national holiday in the interest of capitalism and extending the Christmas shopping season. I think it’s up to each of us to draw our lines in the sand and know when enough is enough–in shopping, cooking, eating, and acknowledging what we do/don’t have.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Being Australian I do not do Thanksgiving but my I do Thursdays as it is hard to miss one day of the week, the last Thursday here was stinking bloody hot but cooled down a lot in the evening. I wonder how American natives feel about the day, some native Australians do not like Australia Day because of what it meant to their way of life, how they were treated by white man

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Native Americans do not support the Thanksgiving myths as they’re told, and they shouldn’t. Bad enough the atrocities that were done to them, to then spend three hundred years teaching children lies… 😦

      Like

  4. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Good times and good food at a great family gathering. No jingle bells or Christmas decorations. No one running off to stand in line for a Walmart special. No thought of the craziness in the rest of the world. Just family, being together and being thankful for it.

    Liked by 1 person

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