Thanksgiving: Tough, Wonderful, or On Your Own.

Thanksgiving is wonderful if you have a bunch of family around. Or it can be miserable. Thanksgiving on your own can be special or a special hell of loneliness. Each Thanksgiving, I post something for those who are along. Here’s a re-cap:

Celebrate yourself on Thanksgiving. Do what makes you feel happy and grateful.

Being Happy on Thanksgiving takes some work, but there are enough links in this article to keep most people busy. (The link to Pete’s Pond works, but they had a rainstorm last night that knocked out the lights).

With your big, dysfunctional family and dreading it? Some tips to help you get through the flying verbal debris at the family Thanksgiving meal.

Some other ways to keep busy on Thanksgiving, if you are not participating.

Several years ago, I found this poem in Annie Lamott’s Traveling Mercies. I’ve read it out loud on Thanksgiving since then. It seems strong and real and grateful to have made it through another year.

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridge to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is”

–William Stanley Merwin, (1927- ), American poet, winner of both Pulitzer and Tanner prizes.
The author of anti-war poetry in the 1960s, he now focuses on Buddhist and
ecological themes from his home in Hawaii.

—Quinn McDonald is grateful to have survived another cycle of the sun to bring her and her widely-scattered family to Thanksgiving again.