November 30, 2010

Thanks Given 2010

Adults discuss boring gratitude and freedom
while we thankful three 
watch kid-vids nonstop.

Eight charming adults and three adorable kids, ages nine, six, and three (only two American-born in this crowd) gathered at my home for this truly American nonsectarian festival.

The lineup and menu:

Ashish: East Indian meat dish
Chiou family: Taiwanese fried rice and pineapple cakes
Dexin: Mainland Chinese vegetable dish
Ghimirey family: Bhutanese dumplings
Kate (Jianing): All-American apple pie
Sherry: American wine and cider
Tamar: Roasted fowl, cranberry dish

Brief discussions on the holiday's roots and reading President Obama's holiday message. Sharing from our traditions on the significance and expression of thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation of gifts unearned. And then, the feast!

Happy THANKS GIVEN, or, giving thanks for what has already been given!

Watch the video (1:58 minutes).

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November 03, 2010

I voted in Georgia's 5th district, DeKalb County

I don't like the election outcomes, locally or nationally. And, I don't like the signage (on the left, especially) on the front door of the public elementary school where I cast my electronic ballot yesterday. Yet I am quibbling. Or maybe I'm not. Could there be a link between the poorly worded, confusing and misleading instructions on the sign and much of the toxic campaigning rhetoric?

It's an ideal time; therefore, to turn to communications in which words mean something. So I listen to W.S. Merwin, the United States Poet Laureate, in a conversation with LIVE from the NYPL [New York Public Library] director, Paul Holdengraber. And I read some of Merwin's poetry and the Psalms.

And, then I remember Psalm 30:6 —
בָּעֶרֶב, יָלִין בֶּכִי; וְלַבֹּקֶר רִנָּה | At evening, one beds down weeping, / and in the morning, glad song.

Which helps me to focus on the re-election of a giant of the American Civil Rights Movement — John Lewis, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia's 5th district since 1987. Congressman Lewis, throughout his college years, was beaten bloody by white mobs and imprisoned in struggles to end segregation. He was a staunch early opponent of the Iraq War, and, last year, was arrested outside the Sudan embassy during a protest against genocide in Darfur. It is a good day, after all.