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Good morning! And Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. I want you to know that when I count my blessings, I ALWAYS count you guys twice!!! What a joy you are to me! As to the REST of Thanksgiving day I often wonder why in the world anyone would be thankful for the food prep and dinner mess, the inevitable stress that comes with cramming so many relatives and friends and so much food in one room! (rolls eyes…)

If an alien came to earth to observe a typical Thanksgiving Day from beginning to end (when folks are in tryptophan shock — more from the ABUNDANCE of carbs at the meal than from the turkey), I wonder what they’d think. Would they think the hours of work were an awfully big price to pay for 20 minutes of actual eating?

mercolI’ve been reading a daily devotional guide called “A Year With Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals.” (Thank you, Douglas Branson over at Specks and Fragments for suggesting it.) The journal entry for today was very applicable to that question. Merton, who was an American Catholic writer and mystic, a Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, a poet, a social activist, and a student of comparative religion, was writing about the difference between a snapshot and a sketch/portrait and how they relate to judging situations and people.

A snapshot, he observes, catches a moment in time only. What you see in the picture is the only data you have on which to base an opinion. And it might be that the snapshot was taken at a very bad time. Hardly seems logical or wise to form an opinion on so little information, does it? A sketch or portrait, on the other hand (he was in the process at the time of having a sketch of himself done), is a deeper experience. It takes much longer for an artist to capture that image on canvas. And while he’s working, he is usually conversing with his subject, asking questions, getting to know them on a more intimate level. So what he brings to the portrait is far more insight into his subject than one can get from a snapshot. I love visiting art galleries, but I confess that would never have occurred to me.

What he was saying, I believe, was we daresn’t judge a situation (like Thanksgiving dinner) or a person on a snapshot of their life, for there is no depth to the image. Taken as a whole an alien might conclude life as a human was way too hard if they had to go through this every day. But they would only be getting part of the picture because people and families are so much more than one stressful Thursday in November. Same as really getting to know a person takes so much longer than seeing them at church on Sundays, for example. And I am certainly guilty of making those “snap” judgments often. Merton’s journal entry has given me a lot to think about.

But for now it’s 8:45 a.m. and I have pies to bake, ten pounds of potatoes to cook and mash, and crackers to smash up to make our family’s once-a-year traditional deep-fried cauliflower. (I also have SIX bottles of assorted wines sitting in the kitchen to help!. 😀 ) And frankly I’m very thankful that it will all be transported to my sister’s house which will bear the brunt of the preparation! LOL

So have a wonderful Bird Day, and I leave you with a quote by JFK that also gives me great pause for thought during this tumultuous time in country’s history…




Picture Sources:
Happy Thanksgiving — Eid Mubarak 2016 Wishes, Status, Images, SMS, Messages
Thomas Merton portrait — followingthevoicewithin.blogspot.com
JFK quote — Worldwide Brands