Thanksgiving and the Certainty of Impermanence

While driving to work the other day and eating Cookies’n Cream Pop Tarts, Pachelbel’s Canon serenaded me through the beautiful streets, laden with freshly fallen jewel toned leaves, in burnt crimson and gold.  The trees are now so bare that there is no excuse to not notice the magnificence of the skies of our every days!

(Junk food and classical music always stirs up some introspective thoughts in me.)

Beethoven (and Mozart) reminds me how, through their brilliant compositions to see into music with more than one landscape to our lives.   (Sometimes too much introspection…)  Actually, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to look inside of ourselves, in between the turkey and stuffing and Company to discover how we really feel about the significant people in our lives:  does the company we keep make us feel loved?  Are we truly happy or do we repeatedly attempt to buy happiness with the material “things” of this world? Are the memories captured in our photographs an honest and loving representation-of-the-events-of-our-lives?  Do we have joy each and every day either from others or from ourselves?   Are we celebrating our Thanksgiving with individuals—families that do not enhance and nurture us? (Do we even care about that last question? Or is it just easier to eat turkey and pay no mind to what and whom we do not like?) Are we really sad but cover up that sadness with a nice, extra heap of stuffing with gravy or some pie that is the farthest thing from humbling?

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Holidays are hidden opportunities for us to see into our lives and loves and to discover what is not working, what we enjoy and are happy with and to remember: there are opportunities in holidays because we are in a state of “pause” and “rest” from the routine of our lives. If we are smart we will see into those pauses and reprieves and take note…

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When we place our attention in the moment and recognize how each breath we take, every word we utter has value and every furtive glance we cast on another is filled with love (!) then the holidays, the company, and yes, even the food, becomes heavenly, holy days that we treasure as if we are spending our time, here on earth—in heaven.  I don’t know how many people see life this way, but for me,  this perspective far surpasses the fantasies and illusions that the marketing industry and the world of media promotes for  what it thinks  holidays should represent in this country.

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The holidays, the memories, the relationships come and go, no matter how we may try or believe that what and all we think is permanent, is more of a-fleetingness than anything else. Life is change, whether we like it or not and when we embrace change—no matter its unexpected unpleasant-ries, we are far more grounded in this world than those individuals who try to resist the inevitability of impermanence and prefer to reside in the rote stagnation of their lives.

The major holidays are here, right now, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  These are the holiday’s that bring family, friends (and some foes) together to celebrate the Events of Our Lives over the past year.  We gather together to break bread, converse about politics, t.v. shows, loved ones we may have lost, changes that our lives have unexpectedly presented us with and possibly the hopes and dreams we have for ourselves and each other in the forthcoming New Year.

This time of year, if we take a moment away from the hurried-ness of the superficiality and festivities or our "family" and our daily routines, we can accept the moments and passages of life for what they are:  experiences that come and experiences that go and not get caught up in the frivolities.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, (I have two).  It is a day when we give thanks for the things  (and people) we have in our life and that we are still here on earth to give thanks for that!

Since I am divorced several years now, every day is Thanksgiving to me.  I am grateful that on holidays I do not have to go through the e-motion-less feelings and forced expressions of pseudo joy and delight with individuals that are no longer related to me by heritage or circumstance…

*     I am grateful that while this is still a man’s world I have managed to hang on to the part of their world that belongs to me (!) and survive without one of them to help raise my children! Men are wonderful creatures when kept in the proper perspective and not clung to in order to sustain oneself Uprightly in society!

* I am grateful for the three amazing children that I have and the incredible adults they are turning into!

* I am grateful that I do not live in Ghana and that my drinking water is as clear as my mind!

* I am grateful that I think for myself and that being autonomous in the world far surpasses any Thing, Possession or Relationship. It-is-the-greatest Joy (next to love…)

*   I am grateful for all the wonderful friends and strangers who come into my life on a daily basis and tell me about the little things in their lives that give their life great meaning.

*      And, lastly, I am grateful for Y.O.U., the One, for many years now who has shown me (every day)  every-thing magical and wonder-filled about this place of Horror and Wonder. Thank you for your honesty, integrity, love and compassion...

They come, they come, they come—these holidays and holy days whether we are ready for them or not. They come—even when we no longer believe in them…They come, just like love--  They leave, just like love, until we believe in them and love, once again!

So, when that Clock is about to strike 12 and that noon train is approaching around the bend; the tracks are laden with golden bricks pointing in a Direction and your life is asking you:  Decide, Decide, Decide...who are you going to listen to?  Your heart or your mind? Will you celebrate if you no longer believe? In the event? In the person?

(only time will tell...)