Two links to share, both from Ta-Nehisi Coates' Thanksgiving thread. (I respect TNC's writing more than I like him, and I like him more than I like his comment section. But what he writes is frequently worth reading.)
First: Uncle Sam's Thanksgiving Table. Idealistic, and still not present, but the world is getting better every day. I think what I like best is the Momma giving the little one what-for.
Secondly, for all of us who have ever spent a holiday meal with adult members of our families: Loudon Wainwright's Thanksgiving Song.
Update And a third - John Scalzi's Science Fiction Thanksgiving Grace.
Read as a lector, yesterday, for the first time in just over a year, and for the first time ever in this parish. As the only scheduled reader -
- first day, no other readers, NO LOCAL TRAINING SESSION! OH NOES!, and feeling just a hair knock-kneed, but at least I was there, which is more than I can say for the first time I was actually scheduled to read in this parish, about 2 weeks ago. (Someone signed up to read, and then didn't find the printed schedule until half the month was over. Someone is v. silly sometimes.) -
- the hardest part was, as always, figuring out when to stand and when to be where as the service moves from the homily to the prayers of the faithful, which, I think I should add, did NOT have the standard "we pray to the lord" at the end of each portion. (The lector reads the prayer, instructs the congregation with 'we pray to the Lord' and the congregation responds with 'Lord hear our prayer' or a similar phrase, often led by the choir in song. Our congregation likes singing. Sometimes the response is longer than the prayer-portion.) As all of my tiny brains had fallen out by that last part of my active participation, I don't remember what exactly I mumbled at the end of the prayer portion, just that, as I was trying to remember the right phrase and couldn't (despite have been told it twenty five minutes before, just before Mass) what ever it was that I said, it was different each time!
We-the-congregation muddled through. And I am a lector again.
Lovely Thanksgiving meal last night at the home of a friend with many other coworkers and the friend's family. We did something which I have not seen done before - we went around the table and gave thanks for what we had to be thankful for. "Good friends and family" were high on the list and frequently repeated, although 'that this year is almost over' also made an appearance!
I have too many things to name. But some of the largest ones are:
- Being in the USA. I haven't always been, and that's okay. I won't always be, and that, too, is acceptable, if only for making this year even more clear.
- For conflicts in perspective, values, and opinions, in both my nation and in my faith. For the leaders of America and of my Church are not, either one, oppressive tyrants, intent on imposing their will, and theirs alone. And because the people who are led, in my nation and my faith, are not witless sheep, blindly following the dictates of their betters.
- For the world getting better all the time.
- For good health amongst all I hold most dear - family, friends, and critters. For having ones to hold dear. For being valued in return.
- For not writing as much as I have in some other years - for my days have been full with many other things.
- For errors made and ignorance uncovered - for the world can still, delightfully, astonish me and there is no shortage of new things to learn.
- For having been granted the grace to let go of past angers and petty furies. Their warmth has not been missed as much as I had imagined it would be.
- For being paid good money to do a job I love, with people I like.
- For being able to do without that which I have not got.
Different strokes for different folks and all that, but after a lazy morning of looking after critters and puttering about re-shelving books, I'm a complete loss as to why anyone would go shopping today. You who do - may your foraging be successful and your traveling safe. I'll help by staying home and out of the checkout line.