By David W. Jones, Angela Sunyata Reed and Marcee Murray King

 

Thanksgiving—that “great” US tradition—is such a mixed can of worms.

It is a time for friends and family to come together and share a meal…but the effort and time! People travel from all over the US to relatives for a huge meal that is eaten in 20 minutes. And why this day? It is supposedly a celebration of the coming together of the Pilgrims and Native Americans, sharing a meal together, which we know is know now is one of those “lies” many of us were taught in school. We have memories and expectations of these days, and coming up to the holiday can be filled with joy or dread—or mixed. A few of The Tattooed Buddha writers share their thoughts on Thanksgiving.

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David W. Jones recalls Thanksgiving from years-gone-by:

Thanksgiving never had much religious connotation for me beyond the pre-meal prayer.

It was a family social event. I loved the food, and a chance to sit around and talk was welcome. But it was a monumental discomfort to me. I paid for my reverie with anxiety, dreading the hustle and bustle. The fuss of everyone and everything needing to be just so and the guilt when it wasn’t lives on in emotional scars Thanksgiving made the moms stressed out while endless obligations and expectations unspooled. I’ll probably never completely recover from those stress-filled holidays gone by. Still loved the food though!

Angela Sunyata Reed shares her recreation of the holidays, embracing service to others:

Thanksgiving has been a process of unlearning old traditions, from trying to ignore it altogether to being in service.

I want to give my presence and BE with people while spreading awareness and truth. This year I will be volunteering at restaurant called Cafe Gratitude that serves a free vegan meal to anyone that wants to receive, all-inclusive, no requirements or government ID’s needed. Spread love and be a PRESENCE, not a half-asleep consumer.

Marcee Murray King is of a mixed-mind on Thanksgiving:

Raised in the public education system of the 60s and 70s, I was fully indoctrinated in the myth of the Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together to feast and celebrate.

It wasn’t long before I figured out exactly what bullshit that was! The focus shifted for me and I began to pay focused attention each day this year on how we, as a “great” nation, have screwed so much up: an acknowledgment of our atrocities to the earth, to animals and to other humans.

As part of this, every year I share William S. Burrough’s Thanksgiving Prayer on Facebook to remember how we have truly screwed others over…it’s never been more relevant than it is today:

Thanksgiving Prayer – William Burroughs – Dir. Gus Van Sant from Cinema del Mar on Vimeo.

And, because I try to be balanced and I try to focus on the good in life, I really make it a celebration of all I am grateful for in the world. After acknowledging the shadow side of life, posting this to Facebook as a reminder to all:

Gratitude: The Short Film by Louie Schwartzberg from ecodads on Vimeo.

 

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

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