“So take refreshment, take your ease in hall, and cheer the time with stories. I’ll begin. Not that I think of naming, far less telling, every feat of that rugged man, Odysseus, but here is something that he dared to do…”
Helen of Troy, in Homer, The Odyssey
VIDEO, and additional written reflection…
Some activities are a better way for people to be together. Thanksgiving Day is a good day to be together with people we love.
More and more it might only be on special days that certain kinds of richer things are done together. And indeed, even the special days are being reshaped. It is easy not to notice the reshaping; the changes are incremental, and the agents can appear benign.
But the change, and the loss, is real. Story-telling is a notable casualty.
We naturally love stories: of heroes and villains; and especially of our own people: those from whose stock we spring. Their stories are part of who we are. If we don’t hear them, we are impoverished, and disconnected.
At least the beginnings of a remedy are often close at hand—probably in the person of someone sitting quietly at our own Thanksgiving table.
“Grandpa, what was it like when you were young? Tell us something about your grandparents…”
The Thanksgiving meal can yet become a feast to fulfill the deeper desires of all those present.
Homer (8th century B.C.) is the great epic poet, author of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Image: “A Winter’s Tale,” John Everett Millais (1829-1896), English, a pre-Raphaelite painter.
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