Monday, November 17, 2014


Poor Thanksgiving. Being an American national holiday, it isn't even celebrated in most of the world, and in the one country--my own--where it has found a home, it gets squeezed between Halloween and Christmas, both of which have become more commercially useful and involve candy and goodies rather than boring old nutrient-rich food. And while some churches actually hold special services for this holiday, every pastor I've worked with in recent memory would just like it to go away. It is, after all, not part of the church calendar. And it is also a violation of the separation of church and state--though in this case, in favor of the church.

Thanksgiving seems like an important concept, too. For one thing, people don't spend much time on gratitude without being heavily encouraged. For another, the thanks being given is supposed to be tied to the yearly harvest, which is sort of important for a species that likes to be able to eat.

Since the day itself has just become another excuse to trample each other at the mall (Christmas shopping, you know), it seems like maybe the only recourse is to extend the Thanksgiving season a bit, start early, like all the other aggressive holidays. So this post's a week early; Thanksgiving itself isn't until a week from Thursday.

And who do we have for a spokesman? Mr. Edvard Grieg, with a simple piece from his set of "Lyric Pieces"--entitled simply "Thanks,"

Oh dear, I'm afraid that won't do. I was looking for something more attention grabbing. How on earth is anybody going to notice a holiday without flashing lights and lots of loud, zany acrobatics? How indeed. Well, Thanksgiving comes anyway. Blink and you'll miss it.

By the way, I'm thankful for my audio software, which allowed me to edit out some very long pauses between sections while I waited for the sirens and the very loud truck and bus to go away. You are too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Grieg: Thanks, from Lyric Pieces, book seven, number two

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