Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving fast approaches.  Bringing with it all the joy, or discomfort that our memories allow.  Gratitude for what we have, or eating all we can hold depending on one’s persuasion, define the day.  Such disparate perspectives all find their way to some moment between noon and 6:00pm-ish on this most American holiday, (unless you are Canadian, they have one too you know, different day though) when we sit down with people we love, or tolerate, or loathe to “give thanks.”

Growing up I remember seeing paintings of the pilgrims (bless their sexually repressed hearts) sharing a meal with the native Americans whose kindness and wisdom made that very moment, the very survival of the colonists possible.  I have no idea if the scenes depicted actually happened, but I do know that from the native perspective things definitely went downhill from there.  Not until the advent of reservation land casinos did that cultural nose dive take a turn.  Finally, something for which the true North Americans can be thankful.  Too little, too late?  Probably.

I usually spend Thanksgiving morning in the woods, either hiking or mountain biking, most often I make this “pilgrimage” alone.  During this holiday opportunity for reflection, I will pause to take in the majesty of this world that we are so fortunate to call home.  I am truly grateful for my one chance here on earth.  Grateful for my wonderful family, my dear friends, a roof over my head and the unlikely outcome that is me, or you and every being issuing a breath even for a moment on this planet.

On this day some will share laughter with loved ones, others will issue volatile political challenges, purposefully foisting discord on innocents who only wish to celebrate the moment.  Thanksgiving political discussions are the shit, right?  Ha!  On the other side of the relational tracks many will be alone; of those, some will be so by choice, others by unfortunate circumstance.  For the solitary, it can be a challenging day to endure without a place to find welcome.  Holidays are societally bipolar, no?

Wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving I wish you peace, joy and most importantly a window in your world through which you can see with crystal clear clarity, something worth being thankful for.  

Namaste my friends.

In The Company Of Chaos

Chaos JH

In The Company Of Chaos

Right now I am not…in the company of chaos that is. If I choose that the boundaries of my home are the ends of the universe all seems to stand in a state of relative calm. However, should I venture into the realm of online news, social media, or wander into the wrong place at the wrong time I find myself in a veritable shit storm of well…chaos.

As a rule, I choose peace. Am I in the minority? More and more it would seem that whether chosen or not, some manner of war is the order of the day.  Why?  Why stir things up? Why choose a harsh word, or a bullet instead of lending a hand, or kind word? Why indeed? Why choose to inflict harm, be it physical or psychological, instead of help or even, as a commitment to the possible benefits of non-action, resort to silence?

Human drama, a sport, a whim, perhaps a necessary evil? Is it evil?  To me, it feels that way, but I have been most fortunate in my life to always have Maslow’s hierarchy met, so who am I to say. Some in my same situation seem to feel more alive taking stands on behalf of those who sell division as a commodity.  Ego is a tempestuous mistress. I feel more alive when more people have the chance to join me in that act; the act of feeling alive that is, and at peace.

Balance is ancient.  Historically, balance seems to be the adversarial antidote to chaos. Chaos in turn, seems to be a human psychologically supported virus of sorts.  A virus by nature identifies, attacks and overtakes its host in order to survive.  Curiously when the virus has accomplished its goal the host is ultimately brought down, and so comes to an end.  ‘The virus’ having attained its goal of domination ensures by its success its own demise.  Chaos, if viral at its core is calling to the “Dionysian Being” in all those who will listen.  We cannot live in chaos for long, pursuing chaos we ensure only our own temporary fix of adrenaline, followed then by our unavoidable ruin.

Does the desperate need for meaning lead to this ‘run of the lemmings’ in our human species?  Some behavior I’ve witnessed would lend credence to this hypothesis.  Could the need for meaning instead lead to a reach for calm, peace, perspective…a pause?  One would certainly hope so. But where would we get our precious drama?

It is easy to imagine solutions when not under fire. Corrections or right answers seem so obvious in the tranquility of a placid, comfortable familiar repose.  Many people struggle in ways I cannot fathom.  Others live opulent lifestyles afforded them by hard work, commitment and no small turn of good fortune, for which they most likely take full credit.  I’m not saying these beings don’t work for what they have but are we not all members of this world, and so potentially capable of perspective, empathy, and humility?  Be these situations as they may, chaos stirs, in and around us all.

Do we look, or look away?  Hiding our heads as long as we presume ourselves safe.  If the floodgates that have until now kept chaos in check finally burst, there will be no hiding from its faceless wrath.  What then?  What solutions will we wish we had committed to when we had the chance.  What sacrifices will we wish we had made.  What courage will we muster when the gun barrel finds us, be we armed, or empty-handed?

Have thoughts on the subject?  Please comment.  Life is bigger and better with shared experience!