Monday, November 30, 2009

President Obama Should Listen to Some Better Voices

You might dismiss Keith Olbermann as a liberal, partisan operative. You might squirm as you watch him wallow in his own brand of snarky grenade throwing. But there's no denying it -- the man have a way with a Special Comment. Here he counsels President Obama to throw off the self-serving advice of his military advisors, reject the loaded demands of his opposition, and resist the (continued) escalation of war.

The President needs to listen to our better voices.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Let us love one another ...

Mom & Jackie at our crazy, patchwork Thanksgiving table.

For decades, holiday dinners equaled high drama for my family. Suppressed feelings, hurt feelings, submerged anger, expectations gone awry – all these simmering feelings seemed to boil over at table during the holidays. You’ve seen its like on TV: the shouting matches, the tears, the storming exits, and those who sat through the storm, nibbling on pie, unfazed. Why, we even had a surprise proposal made and declined at table, which pretty much rocked Mothers’ Day dinner.

Thanksgiving held a particular pumpkin flavored drama. Angst over turkey and all the trimmings. Amazing that we kept coming back year after year.

Then, somehow, all the drama seemed to dissolve.

I cannot even pinpoint the year. Maybe (some of) the crazy people stopped coming. Maybe (some of) us realized that we could manage our relationships with dialogue rather than avoidance. Maybe we all realized that we love each other, and when we remembered to notice the love, then that was truly enough.

Somehow, the holiday at the Rivers’ table became cordial, then pleasant, then downright happy.

We have grown and grown up.

We have added family members through


and osmosis,

And, with good food (Jackie really is the best Thanksgiving cook EVER),

good people,

and good conversation,

there really is an incredible lot to be thankful for.

So in this world where political, economic, environmental, cultural, religious, gender, racial, ethnic and personal tides threaten our sense of self and right and wrong; where dark forces seek to frighten us into embracing dubious agendas; and where it is so easy to turn off rather than stand up, I think it important to remember who we are and who we love. And, if you think you have no one to love, I will go out on a limb and say you’re wrong. Unless you choose it so. Hell, come to our house. We’ll LOVE talking the ears off of new people!

Let us rail against the darkness. While we're at it, let us appreciate the blessings we know, and work to recognize those we have yet to acknowledge. Let us reach out. Let us love one another. Let us give thanks that by reaching and loving we enlighten the darkness.

Happy Thanksgiving.