Teenage Dream

Happy Thanksgiving, and welcome to Friday Fictioneers! We are a community of writers from around the world who post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.  Please visit Rochelle’s blog for more information…and join us if you wish!

This week’s photo is by fellow writer Randy Mazie. Thank you, Randy!

I have been absent awhile, focusing on my health, recovery from surgery and the various successes and failures of physical therapy. I hope I am moving forward, and I am thankful for the medical professionals who make that happen.

I am thankful for the friends and relatives who love me and whom I love. I am thankful for Olga, who is making delicious turkey tomorrow.

I am thankful for the freedom to think, talk, write, tweet and post anything I want—even if, most days, I am too tired to do so.

I am thankful for my faith which, while shaken many times, continues to hold a beacon of hope. Can we live very long without hope? I don’t think so. The human spirit wants to believe we can continue to evolve, to create something better, a better version of ourselves and of the world.

I am thankful for you, dear readers, for your caring comments and lovely “Likes.” You put a smile on my face! I hope my story will do the same for you.

bike_detour_at_library_randy_mazie

Teenage Dream

by Jan Brown

AGE 16:

I hate Thanksgiving!

Okay, what I really hated was LAST Thanksgiving, when my boyfriend came home from college and broke up with me.

My friends had warned me that our relationship was doomed. He went away to college, not just to learn about history or political science, but to learn about the world and, especially, to meet new people.

And he did.

Damn it!

AGE 17:

My cousin brought two of his studly study group members to Thanksgiving dinner this year. I am currently dating both of them.

The future is looking much brighter now.

I love Thanksgiving!

To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link below:

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Iroquois thanksgivings

Dreamcatcher wikimedia Media 123 cc by-sa 3-0

Today’s poem is about thanksgiving with a small “t.” It is not specific to the holiday of Thanksgiving. Rather, it is a lovely litany of the natural gifts of our generous planet, gifts that give us a reason to be thankful every ordinary day.

Its sentiments and structure are Native American in origin. The poem, known as “The Thanksgivings” or “The Iroquois Thanksgivings,” has been credited to Harriett Maxwell Converse, dating to the occasion of the Iroquois Green Corn Festival in New York in 1890. Ms. Converse was a Native American advocate of the 19th century and an adopted member of the Seneca Nation.

The faith and beliefs of the Iroquois imbue the natural world with both human and divine characteristics. Their rich, luscious vision of our physical surroundings reveals a profound respect for nature, man and God.

The poem honors “our supporters, who had charge of our harvests.”

According to legend, the “supporters” are a trio of sister spirits who are guardians of the corn, the beans and the squash, respectively. I really like the idea of a spiritual guardian for my squash, especially the pumpkins that become a tasty pie….and spicy muffins…and bread 🙂

The poem celebrates “that the voice of the Great Spirit can still be heard through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.”

Ga-ne-o-di-o was a controversial leader whose name, in English, is Handsome Lake. He helped the Iroquois Nation deal with the destructive effects of colonization by renewing traditional beliefs, eschewing alcohol and elevating the importance of family and faith. He wrote The Code of Handsome Lake, a moral and spiritual guide for the people. These are “the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o” to which the poet refers.

I hope that you have many blessings and many strong, spiritual guardians to watch over you, now and all year long. Happy Thanksgiving!

Click the link and enjoy the poem! The Thanksgivings, by Harriett Maxwell Converse

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For more information on the poet: Harriett Maxwell Converse bio from pbs.org

For more information on Handsome Lake: Wikipedia bio, Handsome Lake

Happy Thanksgivikah

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo is by Ted Strutz. Thank you, Ted!

This year, the eight days of Chanukah begin on Thanksgiving eve. This is a rare occurrence, and one to be celebrated. Mazel Tov! Or…Gobble Tov!

Naturally, I had to find some music to celebrate the occasion. The Maccabeats, an a cappella vocal group from Yeshiva University, have received over 10 million hits on their YouTube videos. In addition to being adorable, they are involved in a campaign to save lives by matching potential bone marrow donors with recipients. I’ve also included a link to the Miracle Match charity site below.

May you all have a meaningful Thanksgiving, and a Happy Chanukah!

ferry copyright-ted-strutz

Happy Thanksgivikah

by Jan Brown

Last year I missed New Year’s Eve. I missed my nephew’s bris. This year I’m missing both Chanukah and Thanksgiving: a two-for-one family disappointment.

My handler assures me it’s because of my linguistic skills. It’s hard to find an agent on holidays, particularly one who speaks fluent Pashto and Farsi. I tell him I’m fluent in the romance languages as well, but he’s never asked me to be in Paris or Milan on Rosh Hashanah. Damn it.

I walked onto the empty ferry just before sunset. My parents, my brother, my sister and their families jumped out: “Surprise! Happy Chanukah!”

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The Maccabeats have teamed up with Mayim Bialik of “The Big Bang Theory” to raise funds for Miracle Match, a bone marrow donor matching campaign. Click here for more info: https://www.makesomemiracles.com/miracle-match-2013

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To enjoy more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link below:

The Beginning and the End

plate in shape of heart, table knife and fork on red background

At Thanksgiving, we gather at the dinner table and celebrate new beginnings: new babies, new marriages, new jobs, new friends. We remember things that are gone from this plane of existence: loved ones lost prematurely, grandparents lost to age, husbands and wives lost to the bitterness of divorce.

Today I read a poem by Joy Harjo, celebrating the glue that holds so many of us together, the social rites of the kitchen table.

Click the link and enjoy! Perhaps the World Ends Here, by Joy Harjo

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For more information: Joy Hargo bio from poets.org

Giving Thanks

Care

I have readers from 70 countries across the globe, and I give thanks for each and every one of them!

This week, we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving in the United States. The Poetry Foundation has gathered together some very special poems about Thanksgiving, and I will be sharing a few of them with you.

This moving piece is by Richard Blanco. He was President Obama’s second inaugural poet. I’ve also included a link, below, to his inaugural reading.

His Thanksgiving poem is called “América,” about a Thanksgiving celebration in his Cuban-American home. It strikes me that it is about the difficult loss of the old world, and a somewhat tentative incorporation of the new. I think it is a universal truth that parents, aunts and uncles are prodded into trying strange new things by children, and in this case, by the poet. By the end of the evening, whether they liked or hated (mostly hated) the new tastes, smells and stories, they celebrated each other. They celebrated family.

Click the link, and enjoy!  America, by Richard Blanco

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For more information about Richard Blanco:

Richard Blanco – Wikipedia

Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem, “One Light”