Thanksgiving Day is a Day of National Mourning

Is Thanksgiving a day of national mourning?  You must be joking!

One of the prettiest jokes in the history of modern Americas is that of Columbus’ landing, one of discovery, but look at it from the Indian’s perspective, a man washed up, differently colored, speaks another language, doesn’t have a clue where he is, is quite certain he is where he is not, and pretty much at the mercy of the land he has stepped upon.

What followed is famous, and my favorite read is the People’s History of the United States.  I have added a link to the book on Amazon if you are interested. But the fact remains that Thanksgiving is observed as the day of national mourning by many who feel strongly about how the rights of the indigenous cultures of America have been destroyed and people abused by the colonizers. Two sides to every coin, I guess.

The ownership of land was a concept unheard of and perhaps even sacrilegious.  Today, we have private ownership, not only of land and water, but even air. You can get a license to pollute the air to a certain extent, and to pollute to an even greater extent if you buy carbon credits elsewhere. Education has been privatized as has healthcare. My recent experiences with the legal system showed me that even due process is owned by private entities, and attempts to claim your right to justice without the help of those entities can be a very frustrating experience. We truly have a lot to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving is a time for all to come together, and to leave behind labels of victim and perpetrator.  I guess. I mean, it would be nice.

To give thanks for being together in this journey of abundance and joy.  That would be nice too, wouldn't it?

As the chill sets in, and the festivities continue, let me leave you with these haunting lines from Robert Frost, lines that apply more than ever to our fragmented times.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:18 AM

    Any occasion which brings people together and brings forth gifts must be a good one (although ppl like Brangelina think otherwise).


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