Well, make no mistake about it – 2013 was a difficult year for us here at The Jade Sphinx. A cluster of calamities sapped our attention, our energy and our peace of mind. And yet …
Well, if you remember last year’s message, expect the mixture as before. We here are happy to be alive, delighted in the time spent with those we love, and constantly amazed at the ways in which our lives play out. I am convinced that those who are negative, or ironic, or simply jaded (a repellant attitude, if ever there was one), are missing a vital fact of life – that while it’s often harrowing, it’s always surprising and definitely worth living.
Though uniquely American, Thanksgiving has always been our holiday least associated with ideology or creed. It is simply a day set aside to be thankful for the many good things in our lives. And the celebratory meal represents the bounty that is our lives – the many courses, tastes and phases of a unique and sensual experience. Though nonreligious, Thanksgiving is sacramental, best shared with people we love.
Thanksgiving has also always been the gateway to the holiday season, and I look forward to this year’s revelries with particular relish. Christmastime is the best moment to stop and contemplate the quiet miracle of our lives, and that seems more imperative to us this year than ever. Though we are assaulted daily by cultural and political noise, we continue to find grace notes and things of great beauty that make life meaningful. I am frankly amazed at some of the magnificent novels I’ve read this year, the pictures that I’ve seen, the music that I’ve heard and the simple human kindnesses I’ve witnessed. The fine arts provide succor and inspiration, validation and exploration, relief and insight, and the consolations of the arts have been something quite wonderful this year. But all of this bounty means nothing without human connection. The arts may enhance and help define these connections, but they can never supplant them.
Happy Thanksgiving – and onward to a warm, rewarding and nurturing holiday season.