Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Big Mac, a Journal, and a Pocket-Sized Apple Pie: Notes on Ending Well or A Taiwanese Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.

There was no Turkey-day for me, this year. Thanksgiving isn't exactly a Taiwanese holiday... though I had fun this past week recounting the history of our Nation's holiday -- and wondering if I look something akin to a Pilgrim to these Native Taiwanese.

In place of my Turkey (and gravy, and stuffing and...) dinner, I did the most American thing I could think of, and went to McDonald's.

It was the only Apple Pie I could so-loo (walk) to.

After ordering my Big Mac meal - and Apple Pie - I found a quiet booth on the second floor of Mickey D's. I was hoping to journal throughout my meal, but first, I practiced another American staple before I took my first bite; I prayed.

It wasn't very extensive, and I'll admit, I'm not exactly in the habit of praying before my meals, but it lead to a time of thoughtful writing. I'll likely end up posting what I wrote, but not now.

I don't want to say much now - though I'll likely wind up with a mouthful, as usual. I'll try to bite my tonuge before the post gets too long. Today should be a time of inward reflection, not lectures, rambles or rants.

I do want to say this: the holiday season has begun. There is a reason that Thanksgiving is the doorpost to this season. Thanksgiving should be a time where we re-orientate our lives. To remind ourselves who we are, what we value, and what we have -- before we are overwhelmed by "the Holiday Season."
Like the cleansing process of an Islamic man before evening prayer, Thanksgiving sets aside the monotonous filth of our day-to-day, and readies us for the rituals of the season.

Being away from said rituals, I think I'm beginning to value them more. I certainly miss them. I didn't know I would. The gingerbread houses, and the tinsel'd Trees. The silly things that set this time of year apart. But being away from them is also helping me process why we should go about any of this at all. What value there is outside the frivolous Balls of Holly we'll become so acquainted with.

The sun is setting on the evening of this year, and we have the distinct privilege, if not responsibility, to end it well. What does "ending well" look like to you? What is it in life that you value above all? What do you want dubbed as the central focus of your 2008?

These are the questions I mulled over while I consumed my Big Mac and pocket-sized Apple Pie. And I hope that you will take them into consideration tonight as you enjoy your turkey (and stuffing and cranberry sauce and yams and pumpkin pie and waldorf salad and...) Go about this Holiday Season with purpose. Don't let it flash by quicker than a light on a tree. Finish this year well.

Finally, whatever is True, whatever is Noble, whatever is Just, whatever is Pure, whatever is Love... Meditate on these things.


Don said...

Well said. It's amazing how being outside the bubble of our "normal" life helps us reevaluate that life. I didn't appreciate Orange County until I traveled in 40+ of the other US states, parts of Canada and Mexico. It's really about who you are, not where you are, but... the real OC has a lot of positives. Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for an excellent post.

Chandy Andre said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Taiwanese style! Apple Pie and all!
You will be missed terribly! We love you all....your family!

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