Sunday, November 29, 2009


The Lie Lacks

It feels like the lie lacks truth of a certain sort. Thanksgiving is when we are to remember only the good, or if need be, the bad through the working of good. Yet even if Thanksgiving is really a social mask for maudlin positive thinking, it does possess a certain flower, a feeling of warmth and joy that finds its root in good food (stuffing and pickled beets) and games (dominos and ping-pong) elevated to the position of ritual. I don’t care how many rotten apples are involved; hot apple cider is undeniably good.

We went to Portland in the rain to see my Aunt Mary and her jiving husband Uncle Lee Gingerich. Mary’s brothers Stan and James were there with their wives telling jokes and responding to jokes with lines they forgot were first written by Credence Clearwater Revival. We learned of James’ deer ‘horn’ collection, of how to kill a cougar with a bow and arrow. We heard stories of bar fights during the Vietnam war which ended on their head two stories below the balcony on which they started. We heard about how one little boy chopped off the other little boy’s fingers as a scary joke turned non-fiction next to a narrow river at a place called “Sweet Home.” We were informed that an evening of Bible study was to be cancelled for the Oregon St. vs. Oregon football game this weekend.

So far we don’t have so many stories of physical suffering to dwell on and rehash on Thanksgiving. Maybe we’re just learning how to tell Thanksgiving stories which ring true, like corroding cast-iron bells. That offer responses to life filled with laughter in the dark. But we know we like these stories of survival filled with pell-mell passion and misunderstood longing. We like Thanksgiving dinner with its overabundance of brown and dark red foods set on a long Amish-made table as a way of contradicting the lack of family experience that exists the rest of the year. Sitting around an Amish-made table playing Mexican Dominos for hours makes you forget about the rain.

These amazing pictures were made by: Lisel Jane
Top left image by: Lottery Monkey


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