I think the best thing for me about thanksgiving, is that it really gives you an excuse to take a break from the normal day-to-day working world.
Growing up Jewish, we always felt a bit shut out of Christmas. The Jewish holidays, while sacred to us, were un-known or ignored by most of the non-Jews I met and quite a few of the Jews too.
The only holiday that really allowed us to not go to school, not go to work and not to be productive in any major way except of course for cooking, was thanksgiving, not just that day but the whole weekend.
Iâ€™ve dragged myself to work in snow storms, on presidentâ€™s birthdays, on holidays galore from Easter to Passover, in sick-ness and in health, but ah, that wonderful Wednesday, day before Thanksgiving when I know that after a half day of paper-work and email, I can blaze out of the office and not feel even remotely obligated to check in till Monday, knowing that anyone who calls, emails or snail-mails really knows that only a dolt would expect a response over Thanks-giving weekendâ€¦now thatâ€™s bliss.
This little break from reality opens up a window of freedom that allows other things to happen; calling friends Iâ€™ve been too busy to chat with for months and not just a quick how-are-ya, but a real long soulful chat.
Thanksgiving is also my annual â€śOKAY LAY IT ON MEâ€ť time when I just sit back, take a deep breath and let my family members vent about their long, long, long, list of gripes. Itâ€™s called â€śKVETCHING.â€ť The listening part is called â€ś A REALLY GOOD DEED.â€ť
The driving beat of New York City is dulled just enough to bring out the kid in all of us; watching the floats at the Macyâ€™s parade, (from TV my dears, I donâ€™t know any actual New Yorkers who go in person, kinda like going inside the Statue of Liberty), catching up on great old classics like â€śGone with the Wind.â€ť I totally forgot that little Bonny dies and got heart-broken all over again. â€śThe God-Father Twoâ€ť (why a movie about the Mafia feels like a Thanks-giving treat I donâ€™t know, but it does) and sleeping blissfully, magically late.
Then of course thereâ€™s the food, too much of it but so what?!
Iâ€™ve been on a health kick all year; so chowing down on some good sinful eats really feels like throwing caution to the wind! The best part of course is sharing the meal with people you love. If it canâ€™t be family by blood then do as I have done most of my life and share with family by love, sometimes a stronger bond my dears.
Thanksgiving weekend also brings up other things my dears; a time to think and discover whatâ€™s really on our minds; good and bad, to take inventory of what we have and whatâ€™s missing and yes, dears of course, it is a time to give thanks to the people who have been kind to us, the good things in life, the great moments.
In this economy, with so much strife and struggle, fear and pain all around us, itâ€™s all the more important to try and find moments of joy and give them back twice fold.
I gave a home-less junkie a pint of sweet potato soup on Thursday and he answered, â€śThanks now how bout a dollar!â€ť Hey home-less junkies have their priorities after all.
And now we go into Sunday, the last day of this wondrous break. The sun is out and the park is calling. I have a kind wonderful person to spend this day with and I am thankful for this day and this person and this moment.
Monday is a lifetime away.
Happy t-day to you all my dearsâ€¦
Share your joy.
November 27, 2011 Comments Off
I asked a good friend of mine Mae, a wise worldly woman and a bit older then myself, if whatâ€™s going on now with OCCUPY WALL STREET, is anything like it was in the 60â€™s. Iâ€™m too young to remember much about the 60â€™s but always felt like Iâ€™d missed the most exciting era of human rights history.
â€śItâ€™s a lot like that honey, but they were more organized in the 60â€™s. They had leaders and an agenda. They got it done.â€ť
When I heard a little while back that OCCUPY WALL STREET was going to Union Square park, I went for a few hours. Iâ€™m not much of a rough and tumble type, so went on a not so chilly afternoon for a few hours. All of the speakers that day were talking about police brutality and at first I began to wonder if thatâ€™s what the movement had become. But then a speaker explained that this was the October 22nd anti-police brutality rally and OCCUPY WALL STREET had joined them in solidarity. While I was there someone held up a sign about the 99%, someone invited me to become a communist and several people invited me to become a socialist.
One of the speakers instructed the crowd as to the difference between a frisk and a search.
â€śA search is a light pat down. They cannot go into your pockets, look under your hoody, ask you to remove your hat. That is a search. If they do this, you must say the following loudly and for witnesses to hear.â€ť
â€śI DO NOT CONSENT TO THIS SEARCH!â€ť
The crowd shouted loudly back, â€śI DO NOT CONSENT TO THIS SEARCH!â€ť
I did not join the parade that marched down the street but instead took a moment to survey the booths and crowd left behind. So many causes, so many agendas, it was like a festival of human rights issues.
From the beginning I have had a mixed feeling about OCCUPY WALL STREET. How can a movement with no leaders and no particular agenda really work? But the other part of me loves the revolutionary passion that screams out against this often very very wrong world.
After- all, it really did take the stonewall riots to launch the gay rights movement.
So maybe it really will take OCCUPY WALL STREET to even out the playing field a little bit more between the 1% and the 99% between the big banks and the small businesses.
I am a small business owner and one that has certainly felt the pressure of trying to survive in one of the most expensive cities in the world, with a local government that speaks publicly about supporting the small business but privately sends in every imaginable task master to charge, penalize, tax and fine us. We will never know how many small businesses close due to this un-ending harassment and this means loss of jobs, loss of income, loss of what makes NY great. Itâ€™s called short sighted!!
I know that the small business must be one of the causes OCCUPY WALL STREET fights for and so it is extra sad when local joints in the area of Zuccotti park are hurt, like the Panini CafĂ© which had been overwhelmed with protestors using the bathroom and not buying anything and ultimately breaking the sink causing loads of money in damages and the business to have to install a lock.
Iâ€™d like to think that the money brought in by the hoards of tourists coming to see the protests might soften the blow. I hope so, but for many local businesses itâ€™s been a hard haul thatâ€™s not ending anytime soon enough.
Alas all revolutions do have casualties even if they are friendly fire.
Iâ€™d like to see OCCUPY WALL STREET make a mission to support the local businesses, after-all they are some of the very people they are protesting to protect.
I like it best when the protests take on specific causes and fight for them, like getting the big banks to stop with the @&&@**@( ATM charges. I heard a cry one day about letting the un-employed ride the subway for free. I think thatâ€™s a great idea. If going on un-employment would produce a free ride card for public transportation, maybe folks would have an easier time searching for jobs and surviving until they get one.
The over-all message of OCCUPY WALL STREET, to stop corporate greed and corruption, to make the big banks be held accountable, to stop this country from being one of such extremes that if can often feel hope-less and fruit-less is a good one. It is a timely and just message. The very fact that itâ€™s still going on and hasnâ€™t lost steam and has spread around the country means regardless of its confusing state, it really is working.
Itâ€™s a mixed bag, with a lot wrong and a lot messy but over-all, to me, OCCUPY WALL STREET, still the good guys.
November 10, 2011