Thursday, November 25, 2010
Well, now, I wish you could see the actual sketchbook page here, because it's lovelier than what you're looking at. The scanner has a hard time with these thick books, so I had to tile the two pages together. But you get the idea. And more to the point, it was fun to draw the tree as I sat on my front porch while the turkey roasted. Beyond the tree was the bird feeder I filled this morning after a chubby squirrel emptied it. I thought he should have a self-indulgent meal, too, so I wanted there to be lots to eat besides the dessicated partial pumpkin that's still lingering on the grass. After I filled the feeder, actual birds showed up, too. All kinds of birds.
At Thanksgiving dinner tonight, we engaged in our usual tradition of naming our gratitudes. Then I threw something new at the table. I encourage you to try it at home. I asked everyone to name someone from their past or present -- dead or alive, in contact with or estranged from -- who had been the source of some pain, for whatever reason. YOU know those relationships, right? We've all had them. The ones that matter so much that after a while we either have to change something fundamental in the situation or go crazy?
So we all had to name that person, then talk about one thing they had contributed to our lives. One good thing. And it couldn't just be, "Ever since he/she's out of my life I feel like a new person!" Or, "Putting up with him/her proved to me I could do anything!"
No, it had to be a direct, positive contribution.
Two of us had no trouble naming the person and their contribution.
Two of us struggled mightily to name the contribution. In one case, two of us helped another person by pointing out something the difficult-person-in-the-past had done.
I'm not sure whether everyone agrees with me, but I found this to be a wistful and worthwhile discussion. I especially enjoyed hearing points of view from my children that I hadn't heard before.