Thanksgiving is always a good time to take stock of your luck. At the table, many families take turns relating something to be grateful for. In such a shared setting, we usually talk about nice things in the world that we can all be thankful for: friends and family, roofs over our heads, California weather, Smartwool socks, anyone who makes the political landscape look less bleak or at least funny, the rise of the American microbrew.
This year, I felt thankful for something of a more selfish nature. I was thankful for being alive, because I recently realized the odds were against me. And I suspect that if you did the math, you would feel the same.
December is dedicated to Advent, Catholic Latin word “adventus” meaning “(something’s coming”)—winter solstice, sun turning northward, new light, birth of the holy child, revelation). For four weeks we light candles summoning hope in the dark half of the year. Simultaneously, Wednesday evening, Hanukkah, eight-day candle-lighting Jewish festival of lights, begins. Both religious festivals are about preparation, (re)dedication and the kindling of (our) light (hope, promise) within the darkness (of matter).
Friday the U.S. has a Saturn return, 14 Libra (relationship with others). Saturn returns mean strictness, discipline, solitude, hard work, separation and loss of what is no longer useful. And so, as of this writing Drudge Report reports the new Wiki-leaks. Uh oh. Veils of secrecy drop with classified communication (accepted by all nations) released. This will affect relationships (Libra) with other nations. Transparency, although uncomfortable, is needed for the new culture and civilization to emerge. Saturn is both teacher and Dweller on the Threshold. The Dweller shows us past missteps and the Teacher helps us learn lessons. Everyone, everything (even nations) are always in a developmental (learning) stage.
Plus Letters to the Editor
Many of us in California come from somewhere else. California natives? I can count a couple of handfuls that I’ve met just this year. So, during the holidays, inevitably those of us who’ve arrived in California, either searching for new life, new direction, or just following a dream, may find ourselves invited into the family gatherings of other people. That’s not a bad thing at all, but maybe this year, it won’t be such a bad idea to share some of your own family stories. To me, Thanksgiving always conjures up one scenario: My Polish Uncle John hiding an entire platter of Polish dumplings under his chair during the Thanksgiving meal. I couldn’t blame him—I’d always wanted those homemade fluffy, tempting carbs, drizzled with melted butter all to myself too.
(During a recent visit back to Chicago, my mother made some and I quickly devoured a dozen in one sitting.) I’m thankful for those meals and those dumplings—my gut, maybe not so much. All that to say: Eat up this year—consume every vibrant moment with family and friends. And let them know why you are grateful to have them in your life. Let go. Don’t hold on to it. Give it!
Thanksgiving in the United States should be a celebration of our abundance and gratitude for all that we have, and our relationships, the beautiful land, plenty of food, water and air—especially if we can figure out ways to distribute all of it to everybody. Everybody should get something.
Santa Cruz | Psychotherapist
As Above, So Below & Happy Birthday, Findhorn
As the Aquarian Age unfolds, there is a developmental task humanity will recognize as their responsibility (and gift). It is the recognition of and work (co-creation) with the Devic (Angelic Beings of Light) kingdom, the builders of all form on Earth. Working side by side with the devas (this was the original work of the Findhorn Community), humanity begins to identify as the World Disciple, assisting in creating the new rhythms, order, culture and civilization of the new Aquarian Age. Humanity and the devic (angelic) kingdoms are parallel evolutions. The devic kingdom is the feminine (receptive) aspect to humanity, the masculine (radiatory). When an event representing the feminine (Venus direct) occurs in the sky, something occurs here on Earth as well.
Lights up on Thanksgiving dinner, a table burdened with delights and surrounded by friends and/or family. Cue background music, something simultaneously calming and festive, with a slight hint of a football game from an adjoining room. Enter the host or hostess, tapping on a glass, with the announcement, “Why don’t we go around the table and share what we’re thankful for this year. Grandpa, why don’t you start?
Plus Letters to the Editor
One week until we feast on all that Thanksgiving has to offer so, as usual, I feel drawn this time of year to keep asking myself two things: How many thanks am I actually giving? How much giving am I actually doing? Giving—you know, the kind that comes with no strings attached. More on that at another time.
For now, the big giving of the week comes from Santa Cruz City Arts and its annual Artworks Awards for Business Leadership in the arts. The fourth annual event honors businesses and individuals who “support and build connections between the business and art communities” in Santa Cruz. The ceremony takes place at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at The Museum of Art & History in Downtown Santa Cruz. Ow Family Properties, Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room and—what’s this, another honor?—local hero Wallace Baine nab awards. Last year, GT was honored. (Thanks!) And big thanks to the three entities being recognized this year. See you at the event. (Watch coverage later on GTv.) ...
Let’s turn to this week’s issue. Ah ... Bill Cosby. What can you say about the man, the legend. Cosby hits the Santa Cruz Civic Thanksgiving weekend. Recently, GT’s Damon Orion caught up with the personality whose brilliant observances of human behavior—foibles and all—have inspired people for decades. Cosby also opens up about politics and President Obama. Read all about it, beginning on page 14. Send us your thoughts at [email protected]
What’s left? Giving. And thanking. We all have a week to get into that mode. But don’t stop after next Thursday. Giving back to the community is good for you. Try it on for size and watch your entire being sparkle with new possibilities.
OK—that was tres Deepak, but you get the picture. Onward ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
Regarding last week’s article in GT, I emailed Amy Sedaris' website after also seeing her featured in Vanity Fair promoting “Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People,” as I thought, in these times of high unemployment, inequitable medical care and foreclosures, such a title was
in very poor taste. I have yet to hear from her or her publisher, but, I can guess, I'm not the only one who finds the title inappropriate. The “poor are always with us,” a familiar refrain of those who live in Amy's financial stratosphere, but if sales are good, maybe she could help refund childcare for working people.
The recent elections will usher in a new Congress, who will be expected to consider the recommendations of the Deficit Reduction Commission. I implore both the Commission and our incoming Congress to have the courage to make real cuts to our military budget instead of sacrificing crucial spending on human needs.
We cannot seriously address the budget deficit without cutting the military budget, which takes up 59 percent of the discretionary budget, and that doesn't account for overruns, including $300 billion above what Congress authorized for various weapons systems in the last five years.
Fifty-five members of Congress recently wrote the commission outlining specific cuts to the military budget, and I truly hope that their advice is heeded. Military spending is out of control and is the best place for the deficit hawks to look for cuts.
Dr. Ann López
Display, Class Display, Bulletin Board and Classified Ads: 3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 18.
The following Deadlines will be in effect for the Thursday, Dec. 2 issue:
Display, Class Display and Bulletin Board: 3 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 24.
Classified ads: 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 29.
Calendar: noon Monday, Nov. 22.
I think it's the fast food industry that needs to take responsibility for the effects of
their products, and I don’t know that the government needs to get involved.
Santa Cruz | Musician
Now that the election season is over, it’s time to hit the reset button. Political arguing has had its place. And there’s a lot to bat back and forth: the Republican sweep, the Democratic win in California, the role of the Tea Party and whether 72-year-old Jerry Brown can turn things around in California.
But none of that really has much to do with what comes next. Too often, observers of the political scene get taken up by who wins, who loses, and who’s going to run in the next election.
It’s time to get over it. Now it’s time to actually run the government and serve the people. Doing so takes different skills entirely. It’s not about the horse race anymore.