Monday coffee: in which I give thanks and introduce cows


Artists at All City Coffee 25

In the U.S. the holiday of Thanksgiving is approaching. It’s a kind of odd holiday: people’s kids are in school plays where they dress in Pilgrim gear and worry about starvation, and later that week we have a huge dinner at which we usually overeat. Sometimes we do this while watching sports games on the largest screen we can find. And the very next day, we start a frenzy of Christmas or Chanukah shopping (in my case, both. So glad Diwali is already past!) that looks like sharks converging on an unfortunate school of gift wrapped fish – so scary that it’s even called Black Friday.

And yet, Thanksgiving simultaneous manages to have meaning to almost everyone here, even hard boiled cynics, that goes beyond the physical. It’s almost like the indulgence in the very material parts of our being (buying, eating) gives our hearts some unimpeded time to move towards others, their concerns, their needs, their lives.

Art tends that way too this time of year; the rain starts here in California, and the call from the artist world is expressive, connective. I love the idea of collaborative individuality in Laura Hegfield’s Gratitude Quilt. For a really, um, unusual physical piece of  gratitude artwork, one of my favorite art shows is featuring, this year, a Gratitude Cow (really!)* And for sheer gut-wrenching honesty, painter and poet Stuart Sheldon’s blog post, “Thank,” still  does it for me as it does every year since he wrote it.

I don’t tend to express gratitude publicly, including through writing. I’m too worried about people starving, and difficult court cases, and the Middle East situation, and my friends’ healthcare concerns, &c. You can imagine the sort of thing. But I am grateful for a lot of things, and when I was talking them over with my six-year-old, I was surprised to find that my typical top-10 list (my family, my lovely friends, my eyesight, etc) came up with an addition: this blog. It’s a pleasure taking part in its writing but even more of a pleasure connecting with my blogging partner and with the people who read and comment on and about this blog.

So, thank you, friends, for making this blogging thing such a joy.

*If you’ve never run across the Cow Parade, well, you’re in for a treat!CowParade Prague 2004 023 ALCHEMICOW

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5 thoughts on “Monday coffee: in which I give thanks and introduce cows

  1. One of the unknown people who follows our blog just posted the best little series of photos of cows. It’s exactly what they’re like…they slowly appear like they’ve ALWAYS been there, and then *pop* they’re gone…

    cows

  2. Ina, I love cow stories. I started up a short story in the beginning of 2011 centered around an 18 year old cow but I could not shape it. And here today I see this picture and just now I think I have got it. Horrible though, because how will I make time to write it just now?
    No, no, no, wrong development of thoughts on our blog because what I need to say is that I love that you also focus on cows and I love the picture – and now I know that I’ll have a short story coming up soon.
    We have no Thankgivings in Denmark but we do like to say thanks when we feel like it.
    And yes, I like that people cooperate the way you describe.
    In short: Thanks!

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