Thursday, November 22, 2012

To Thanksgiving

Home for Thanksgiving - Norman Rockwell

This holiday is often overlooked
One feels, because it doesn’t generate
The flow of cash, the airlines overbooked,
Hysteria at fear of being late.
A humble, homey, family-style affair,
No supernatural glamour European
Kicks Concupiscence awake to dare
Sobriety to drink and make a scene.
Giving thanks for what one has is not 
In fashion in this Age of Gimmemore.
Virtue, quaintly comical, has got
Inhibited. It fears to be a bore.
Nothing satisfies, however wild, like
Giving thanks for home in manner childlike.

~ FreeThinke, The Sandpiper, Autumn, 1996

Saying Grace - Norman Rockwell


  1. I miss Norman Rockwell!

    A blessed Thanksgiving to you, FT. May we avoid politics today and focus on our many reasons to give thanks.

  2. May all of our happy memories buoy us up on this day and always.
    Happy Thanksgiving, FT.
    Love, me

  3. Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day FT. I'll be around once in a while. I just need some time to recuperate I guess. I've been here a few times but just didn't comment. I guess a few words wouldn't kill me though. Take care!

  4. Always nice to see you, AA!

    I hope you have an especially happy day.

    God bless!


  5. Happy Thanksgiving FT. I'll be seeing ya on the flip side no doubt.

  6. Love to you too, Z.

    Good memories make the future brighter. We must always stay in touch with everyone and everything we've ever loved.


    ~ FT

  7. And many thanks to everyone who stopped by. Our being here would meanvery little without you.

    ~ FreeThinke

  8. Happy Thanksgiving, Beautiful Soul!


  9. Came a cross this interesting perspective on America, Thanksgiving and Norman Rockwell that relates well to your post here. Doug Hagmann is a man I would call a concerned American who hits the nail dead on the head, IMO:

    "During the last century, America has kicked God out of our classrooms, our courts and virtually all aspects of our lives under the fallacious and eternally damning pretext of tolerance. We have traded our morality for the unacceptable acceptance of behavior antithetical to the practice of true religion and virtue. We have replaced real justice with the Marxist ideology of social justice. We have embraced tolerance of evil to the degree that tolerance itself has become evil.

    America has lost her way, and bears no resemblance to visible vestiges of a moral and spiritual America reflected by the paintings of Norman Rockwell, whose works were published by the Saturday Evening Post while the agenda of evil was working overtime. Today, many look to the spirit of America captured by Rockwell and long for the way things were. Others look at the same images and say they never were. We are a nation divided.

    This Thanksgiving…
    As we gather at our tables this Thanksgiving, we must not only give thanks to almighty God, but recognize what has happened to our country, understand how it happened, and resolve to recapture it from the enemies who have taken it from us. We must cite President Washington’s proclamation and demand that our elected officials perform their duties properly and punctually. We must demand that our government returns to a body that respects our constitutional laws, and that they are to be faithfully obeyed. We must retake our nation, not only for our earthly benefit, but for the salvation of our very souls. There is no other option."

  10. Thank you once again, Waylon. Mr. Hagmann expresses my own views as well or better than I do, myself.

    Christianity in all its legitimate forms sets an impossibly high standard for its congregants -- nothing less than perfection.

    Because the standard is unattainable, many ill-intentioned intellectual aggressors, hardened cynics, chronic malcontents, and lazy-minded individuals, who prefer to drift through life making as little effort as may be possible, reject Christianity because of its high-minded "impracticability."

    What they fail to realize, of course, is that that effort required in STRIVING TOWARD a beautiful IDEAL is the very thing that builds good character and bolsters great accomplishment.

    As theologian Oswald Chambers put it, "Our strength comes from the strain."

    We may be unlikely ever to reach perfection, but our lives are likely to be pretty much a waste of time, if we fail to find some worthwhile goal to work towards, and some occupation we regard as important, if only to us.

    That lately maligned, much misunderstood figure, GBS, put it this way:

    "This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you're thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."

    ~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

    I love Shaw for many reasons, mostly his great wit and literary brilliance, but I suppose I love him most for those words, which could only be read properly as possibly the best and most succinct refutation of modern "liberalism" extant.

    ~ FreeThinke

  11. I'm no fan of GBS. Although as you say, FT, the man is a genius with words and phraseology, it's his larger philosophy which I profoundly disagree with, since I don't think he has a benevolent view of life or others breathing the same air as he does. Even the quotation that you cited reflects this if you consider it in the context of some of his other famous quotations.

    Mixing God with GBS is mixing the sublime with the profane, IMO. And GBS, as most condescending Fabians are was a devout atheist.

  12. Waylon,

    I appreciate your views, but we'll have to agree to disagree on the value of Shaw.

    Since I am something of an artist, myself, and as flawed as any other human being, I have always been able to separate artistic achievement from the personality and personal lives of artists, themselves.

    Shaw understood the profundity and brilliance of serious music. In his early career he reviewed concerts, I think for The London Times. His reviews are among the finest examples of the genre that ever saw print. He knew what he was talking about -- a rare gift in critics of any sort.

    Music was my primary field for decades, and remains a lifelong passion. I am morally certain that anyone able to plumb the depths of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt and Brahms, et al. is closer to Almighty God than most clergymen.

    I seem to have an infinite capacity to annoy most who hold orthodox views in any number of areas aesthetic and spiritual, because I firmly believe the existence, presence and influence of God in our lives does not depend on formal acknowledgement through the tenets of any particular creed.

    I have known, for instance, any number of Jews, atheists and agnostics, who -- from the way they conduct their lives -- are in fact better Christians than many ardent churchgoers who firmly and fiercely claim Christian Identity.

    God simply is. The Holy Spirit infuses all Life. The existence of God does not depend on our acknowledgement of His presence in our lives. Wherever you find Excellence, Integrity and Benevolence you also find God. The same holds true for Beauty, Affection and Devotion.

    Shaw's personal life was odd, indeed, but much more on the side of abstemious -- almost to the point of asceticism -- than of intemperate passion. He was a man of regular habits and no known vices. The blessings -- and the curse -- of indulgence in sensuality seem to have escaped him altogether. I have read that in all probability he never had sex in all his ninety-plus years.

    I never read anywhere, however, that sought to impose his views or his Spartan lifestyle on others.

    Like many who have great intelligence, keen insight and vivid imagination, he was filled with strong opinions and a willingness to experiment by tinkering with the natural order of things.

    There's no doubt he could be wrong, and often was, but for me his personal foibles do nothing to mar my enjoyment of his plays anymore than the reported egoism and much vaunted anti-Semitism of Richard Wagner diminishes my love and admiration for his Music Dramas.

    Part of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring was featured a AOW's blog on Thanksgiving day.

    It's a wonderful work that never loses its aura of wholesome freshness, reverence for Nature and vital interest in Life.

    Nevertheless, it was written by a homosexual -- a physically repulsive looking Jewish Communist from Brooklyn, NY whose personality and professed viewpoints on most matters of importance I find repugnant.

    How could such a lovely, life-affirming work come out of such an unsympathetic, grossly iconoclastic figure?

    Once again I have to credit The Holy Ghost working in mysterious ways. For me there is no other possible answer.

    ~ FreeThinke

  13. WHOOPS! I'd better clarify: By "Shaw" I meant George Bernard Shaw, not fellow blogger Shaw Kenawe.

    Most of the time I disagree vehemently with the latter, especially in matters political, but in other areas I admire the lady a great deal.

    GBS is worlds apart from both Shaw Kenawe and me, though I imagine both of us have enjoyed and benefited from his work as a playwright.

    Heartbreak House is a prophetic masterpiece -- or was at the time it was first presented.

    Good dialogue is like good music or good poetry -- always a treat probably because it has became increasingly rare -- and recondite -- in the past fifty years.

    Civilization appears no longer to be developing. Instead it looks to be fragmenting -- splitting apart and falling into ruins at our feet.

    This is what we get for abandoning Jesus Christ in favor of Dialectical Materialism.

    Too much DEMOCRATIZATION results first in MONGRELIZATION then in BASTARDIZATION -- or so it would appear.

    God only knows what God has in store for us next.

    ~ FreeThinke

  14. FT, I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with me and you have clearly explained your thinking and how you arrived at your conclusions. I'm not trying to dissuade you and I will grant you that GBS is certainly recognized as a talented writer.

    My issue with him is his philosophy as evidenced by his politics. He was after all a founding member of the Fabian Socialists, and they are one group whose influence in our world today cannot be denied. They've succeeded in bringing the world to the ends which they desired using the modus operendi of stealth as wolves dressed in sheep's clothing.

    Perhaps by considering GBS through your personal prism of thoughts and values you see those values in his expressions. Looking only at the ideas expressed by Shaw in his writing in the context of his politics and personal philosophy objectively in terms of what they would mean if applied on a larger scale, which I'm sure his intent, one would not see a benevolent artist but rather something more sinister — a malevolent monster.

    Anyway, that's my last word on GBS for this discussion.



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