This Thanksgiving Felt Different

 

We need to carry on, keep our chins up, and all that. In spite of – because of – the devastation of our culture and the decomposition of our Republic, we must, as I said in America Needs a Renaissance, be brave. In that spirit, I entered Thanksgiving week determined to count my own — and our collective — American blessings, and to give thanks.

I must confess, though, that my feelings overrode my intentions. I found myself less thankful than usual, preoccupied with our country’s fall from grace, indignant that we would willingly surrender our noble experiment in self-government, overwhelmed by ceaseless, intemperate change, and very, very worried. A William Wordsworth poem popped into my mind, expressing how I felt:

The world is too much with us; late and soon.

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers.

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

Next week – I guess that starts tomorrow – I’ll “crack a smile,” as my beloved British grandmother used to instruct me. I have one more day to fret and stew.

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Members have made 36 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Nick Stuart Thatcher

    My immediate, free association thought is that on 11/7 what we heard was not a blast from Triton’s horn, but a chord from Orpheus’ lyre.

    But let us not go gentle into that dark night, but rage against the dying of the American dream (apologies to Dylan Thomas).

    • #1
    • November 24, 2012 at 11:02 am
  2. Profile photo of Bereket Kelile Member

    Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. – Psalm 146

    • #2
    • November 24, 2012 at 11:27 am
  3. Profile photo of David Williamson Member

    I feel the same way, Anne – perhaps made worse by the fact that I am an immigrant from the land of Wordsworth, which is now a Socialist basket-case, even with a “Conservative” government.

    America, indeed, has been fundamentally transformed – not so much by Mr Obama himself, as by the electorate.

    Anyway, this week I am in Spain – another Socialist basket-case that Mr Obama wishes to emulate!

    • #3
    • November 24, 2012 at 11:39 am
  4. Profile photo of Trink Member

    I have a friend who is similarly affected by the election. She wrote that ‘we really have our work cut out for us’. I responded:

    My work is to maintain a broad historical perspective. My work is to form associations with like-minded people . . not because I think we can affect the culture, but for succor . . . and . . on good days, happy sharings of the good things that still surround us. A spin through a Manet exhibit . . . a walk through an autumn woods . . . a pup to scratch behind the ears . . .conversation over a bottle of fine wine . . a crescent moon around which orbits an instrument with which my kid teases snippets of knowledge from the universe. Knowledge, learning, happy associations, helping others at an individual level . . these have to be enough. As for actively pursuing positive effects . . I’ve added Hillsdale to my ‘worthy charity’ list.

    • #4
    • November 24, 2012 at 11:52 am
  5. Profile photo of Western Chauvinist Member

    Also from Wordsworth: All that we behold is full of blessings.

    You want to know one of the (admittedly odd) reasons I’m hopeful? Because I was one of those eager to get on Doc Optimist’s (Paul Rahe’s) bus. I believed, with most of my heart and at least half of my brain (apparently tied (helplessly) behind my back), that Mitt Romney would win this election. That he didn’t is proof of my complete inability to predict the future. I should have seen it coming? Yeah, well, I didn’t.

    I also thought the EU would have folded by now and have no earthly idea why it staggers on. I thought Israel would have to engage Iran prior to Obama’s first inauguration. See? I stunk up the place with that prediction as well. Can America stagger on under the European social democratic model, and satisfy its debtors with copious amounts of freshly printed funny-money? Who the hell knows?

    Precisely nothing in the world changed on November 6. The world is still passing away as it was the moment after the forbidden fruit was eaten. Christ’s victory is still won. No change.

    • #5
    • November 24, 2012 at 11:59 am
  6. Profile photo of Southern Pessimist Member

    Pick your battles, Anne, pick your battles. The war is not within your grasp.

    • #6
    • November 25, 2012 at 1:17 am
  7. Profile photo of Anne R. Pierce Inactive
    Anne R. Pierce Post author
    Southern Pessimist: Pick your battles, Anne, pick your battles. The war is not within your grasp. · 5 minutes ago

    Please explain.

    • #7
    • November 25, 2012 at 1:24 am
  8. Profile photo of BrentB67 Inactive

    I have found myself much less thankful this year. You are not alone.

    • #8
    • November 25, 2012 at 1:52 am
  9. Profile photo of Southern Pessimist Member
    Anne R. Pierce
    Southern Pessimist: Pick your battles, Anne, pick your battles. The war is not within your grasp. · 5 minutes ago

    Please explain. · 1 minute ago

    If you have to explain a joke or what you thought was a profound comment on Ricochet, it probably wasn’t a very good joke or comment.

    I like to make make outrageous, over the top statements, that sound good to me. Talking like a warrior is silly within any context outside of real war.

    Because I feel like the war is already lost, I choose to pick a few battles I might win.

    • #9
    • November 25, 2012 at 1:56 am
  10. Profile photo of Anne R. Pierce Inactive
    Anne R. Pierce Post author
    Southern Pessimist
    Anne R. Pierce
    Southern Pessimist: Pick your battles, Anne, pick your battles. The war is not within your grasp. · 5 minutes ago

    Please explain. · 1 minute ago

    If you have to explain a joke or what you thought was a profound comment on Ricochet, it probably wasn’t a very good joke or comment.

    I like to make make outrageous, over the top statements, that sound good to me. Talking like a warrior is silly within any context outside of real war.

    Because I feel like the war is already lost, I choose to pick a few battles I might win. · 2 minutes ago

    Na – It was a good comment and advice I should take!

    • #10
    • November 25, 2012 at 2:03 am
  11. Profile photo of Maggie'sGirl Inactive

    I, too, have felt greatly discouraged. I live surrounded by progressives. Most of my girlfriends are very liberal. So while there was much rejoicing in my neighborhood, and on my facebook page the night of the election, I only felt despair. 

    I emailed my husband, who is in the military and is elsewhere, and said the ignorance of my liberal friends for what their policies will result in is astounding. I told him the only viable way to change things is through Classical Education. Of course, this is my opinion, education is the key to changing our culture, classical education specifically. My husband points out that the Left holds an iron grip on education. Why is that? Of course we know.

    I was inspired and encouraged when reading the post about America Needs a Renaissance. I often feel powerless, a small island, surrounded by a sea of progressives. I am determined to do something …not just to resist by keeping my children out of the system. I want to provide an alternative that will restore traditional values and raise the bar for learning. So, I contacted Hillsdale and am at the beginning stages of forming a Classical Education Charter school. 

    • #11
    • November 25, 2012 at 2:22 am
  12. Profile photo of Anne R. Pierce Inactive
    Anne R. Pierce Post author
    Chelly Bouferrache: I, too, have felt greatly discouraged. I live surrounded by progressives. Most of my girlfriends are very liberal. So while there was much rejoicing in my neighborhood, and on my facebook page the night of the election, I only felt despair. ….

    My husband points out that the Left holds an iron grip on education. ….

    I was inspired and encouraged when reading the post about America Needs a Renaissance. I often feel powerless, a small island, surrounded by a sea of progressives. I am determined to do something …not just to resist by keeping my children out of the system. I want to provide an alternative that will restore traditional values and raise the bar for learning. So, I contacted Hillsdale and am at the beginning stages of forming a Classical Education Charter school. · 0 minutes ago

    This is so great, and I love the name: Classical Education Charter School. It will appeal to parents who see that this is precisely what their children’s schools do not provide: a classical education. With Ricochetti reading about this, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were many Classical Education Charter Schools within a few years.

    • #12
    • November 25, 2012 at 2:28 am
  13. Profile photo of Maggie'sGirl Inactive

    Maybe others will follow suit. Anyone on Ricochet thinking about Classical Education Charter schools as a way to fight back or take a stand? Let me know if you are out there…

    • #13
    • November 25, 2012 at 2:29 am
  14. Profile photo of FirstAmendment Inactive
    Chelly Bouferrache: …

    I was inspired and encouraged when reading the post about America Needs a Renaissance. I often feel powerless, a small island, surrounded by a sea of progressives. I am determined to do something …not just to resist by keeping my children out of the system. I want to provide an alternative that will restore traditional values and raise the bar for learning. So, I contacted Hillsdale and am at the beginning stages of forming a Classical Education Charter school. · 21 minutes ago

    I, too, have been discouraged, but this is encouraging!

    • #14
    • November 25, 2012 at 2:46 am
  15. Profile photo of DocJay Member

    Southern Pessimist, I thought you were quite reserved in general 😉

    • #15
    • November 25, 2012 at 2:57 am
  16. Profile photo of Trink Member
    ~Paules: Perhaps I’m the only one that finds the situation liberating, but I’ve found a new sense of purpose. For this I am grateful. · 1 hour ago

    Yes. I understand your sense of this. For me, as a 65 year-old, the ‘liberation’ of knowing where we are as a culture will manifest itself not so much in any form of activism, but in practicing gratitude for what has been good in my life, continues to be . . and . . preparing for inevitable endings.

    But how very true is your statement: ” . . . life has become suddenly sharper and more savory now that we can no longer take things for granted.”

    • #16
    • November 25, 2012 at 3:02 am
  17. Profile photo of Fake John/Jane Galt Member

    My thankfulness was melancholy this year. I am thankful that God did not bless me with children. I am not sure my heart could take knowing the mess I will be leaving them and the road that they must travel because of the short sightness of the mob and my lack to change the course of the country. For those of you with children you have my sympathies.

    • #17
    • November 25, 2012 at 3:02 am
  18. Profile photo of Diaryof1 Inactive
    Chelly Bouferrache: Maybe others will follow suit. Anyone on Ricochet thinking about Classical Education Charter schools as a way to fight back or take a stand? Let me know if you are out there… · 41 minutes ago

    Chelly, I really wished we lived in the same town…but we ARE pretty close. It’s very (very!) hard work, I know–I tried something similar several years ago, and while it was a private Classical style school that I started, not a charter, I now know the ropes a bit. And I failed a lot (and swore I’d never try this again), but that’s a part of the learning process sometimes. I learned that you need a stellar team that shares the same vision, good funding, a wide network, the right location, a proven model, etc., etc. Let’s talk. 

    • #18
    • November 25, 2012 at 3:18 am
  19. Profile photo of Anne R. Pierce Inactive
    Anne R. Pierce Post author
    Trink
    ~Paules: Perhaps I’m the only one that finds the situation liberating, but I’ve found a new sense of purpose. For this I am grateful. · 1 hour ago

    Yes. I understand your sense of this. For me, as a 65 year-old, the ‘liberation’ of knowing where we are as a culture will manifest itself not so much in any form of activism, but in practicing gratitude for what has been good in my life, continues to be . . and . . preparing for inevitable endings.

    But how very true is your statement: ” . . . life has become suddenly sharper and more savory now that we can no longer take things for granted.” · 19 minutes ago

    Trink,

    Agree that this statement by Paules hits the mark and was inspired by your comment (#4) as well.

    • #19
    • November 25, 2012 at 3:27 am
  20. Profile photo of maureen dirienzo Inactive

    My only hope now is to convince my son and daughter in law that it is their turn to take up the fight. They must work on their young friends. The resistance must come from the young.

    • #20
    • November 25, 2012 at 4:12 am
  21. Profile photo of Joan of Ark La Tex Member
    David Williamson: I feel the same way, Anne – perhaps made worse by the fact that I am an immigrant from the land of Wordsworth, which is now a Socialist basket-case, even with a “Conservative” government.

    America, indeed, has been fundamentally transformed – not so much by Mr Obama himself, as by the electorate.

    Anyway, this week I am in Spain – another Socialist basket-case that Mr Obama wishes to emulate! · 4 hours ago

    Edited 4 hours ago

    Isn’t it amazing that those of us who have experienced alternative systems really bled deeply in our hearts on Nov 6 for this republic. I wish I have all the money in the world to send every single one of Obama’s supporters to live in a socialist state of their choice for a year. 

    • #21
    • November 25, 2012 at 4:45 am
  22. Profile photo of Joan of Ark La Tex Member
    Diaryof1
    Chelly Bouferrache: Maybe others will follow suit. Anyone on Ricochet thinking about Classical Education Charter schools as a way to fight back or take a stand? Let me know if you are out there… · 41 minutes ago

    Chelly, I really wished we lived in the same town…but we ARE pretty close. It’s very (very!) hard work, I know–I tried something similar several years ago, and while it was a private Classical style school that I started, not a charter, I now know the ropes a bit. And I failed a lot (and swore I’d never try this again), but that’s a part of the learning process sometimes. I learned that you need a stellar team that shares the same vision, good funding, a wide network, the right location, a proven model, etc., etc. Let’s talk. · 1 hour ago

    I’m interested too. Although, I am completely without the ability to start a school. I just want a good classical school for my children to attend. But I might be able to rope in the right people. 

    • #22
    • November 25, 2012 at 4:51 am
  23. Profile photo of Joan of Ark La Tex Member

    Well Anne, continue to inspire us with your great writings. It has been a source of strength for us here. What really bugged me is the gloating going on the web as well as facebook. One of the award winning bloggers Jo Ashline, actually posted 911 pictures all over her blog saying half the country needs to get over it because this isn’t a tragic day. I was so close to download on her page but decided, I shall conserve my energy for more productive purposes. Like finishing my novel and children’s book. 

    • #23
    • November 25, 2012 at 5:05 am
  24. Profile photo of Diaryof1 Inactive
    Joan Greathouse
    Diaryof1
    Chelly Bouferrache: Maybe others will follow suit. Anyone on Ricochet thinking about Classical Education Charter schools as a way to fight back or take a stand? Let me know if you are out there… · 41 minutes ago

    Chelly, I really wished we lived in the same town…but we ARE pretty close. It’s very (very!) hard work, I know–I tried something similar several years ago, and while it was a private Classical style school that I started, not a charter, I now know the ropes a bit. …

    I’m interested too. Although, I am completely without the ability to start a school. I just want a good classical school for my children to attend. But I might be able to rope in the right people. · 13 minutes ago

    Joan, the rainmaker role is really important! I don’t have that piece of the puzzle, but I do have the right training (Master’s in Teaching, experience in the classroom, current state teaching license), so you just need a few more key players, like the business manager, the marketing team, the grassroots coordinator, the curriculum specialists. I would say do it big and do it well.

    • #24
    • November 25, 2012 at 5:12 am
  25. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    Anne,

    I was so hoping to change my ways on Nov 7, reading fiction and nothing else , working and thinking about cap n trade gambits . But alas, I miss Rico on a daily basis, so we have to keep loading the guns and passing them to the front. 

    At present I think we should address the political parties. My proposal is that we strip it down to icons. 

    Formerly republicans :

    Workers and their managers

    Formerly democrats :

    Unemployed and their managers

    Now when EJ gets home he can figure out the iconography.

    • #25
    • November 25, 2012 at 5:22 am
  26. Profile photo of Joan of Ark La Tex Member
    Diaryof1
    Joan Greathouse

    I’m interested too. Although, I am completely without the ability to start a school. I just want a good classical school for my children to attend. But I might be able to rope in the right people. · 13 minutes ago

    Joan, the rainmaker role is really important! I don’t have that piece of the puzzle, but I do have the right training (Master’s in Teaching, experience in the classroom, current state teaching license), so you just need a few more key players, like the business manager, the marketing team, the grassroots coordinator, the curriculum specialists. I would say do it big and do it well. · 36 minutes ago

    I can do all the business part, I have a masters in Business Administration, but not the teaching part. And for my selfish interest, I would include Chinese language as well. I know my state gives a grant for that. 

    • #26
    • November 25, 2012 at 6:22 am
  27. Profile photo of Joan of Ark La Tex Member
    flownover: Anne,

    I was so hoping to change my ways on Nov 7, reading fiction and nothing else , working and thinking about cap n trade gambits . But alas, I miss Rico on a daily basis, so we have to keep loading the guns and passing them to the front. 

    At present I think we should address the political parties. My proposal is that we strip it down to icons. 

    Formerly republicans :

    Workers and their managers

    Formerly democrats :

    Unemployed and their managers

    Now when EJ gets home he can figure out the iconography. · 1 hour ago

    Flown, that’s where you have been! Hiding under piles of fiction and loading yourself with more humor ammo! Can you please read some simple literature so I can finally understand what you write? …WE MISSED YOU!

    • #27
    • November 25, 2012 at 6:25 am
  28. Profile photo of RobininIthaca Member
    ~Paules: Those who understand the import of the election results will be better prepared to handle the consequences than those who remain ignorant. Decisions of this magnitude also produce moral and intellectual clarity for those willing to accept the reality. Every personal decision we make from now on carries with it increased gravity because the days of leisure and abundance without effort are drawing to a close. Perhaps I’m the only one that finds the situation liberating, but I’ve found a new sense of purpose. For this I am grateful. · 15 hours ago

    Oh my goodness, thank you for putting that so beautifully. It took me a couple of weeks to reach that point, I do live around liberals, but I have finally accepted the premise that elections are not a do or die scenario. We will continue to work hard and teach our children to work hard. We will remain engaged in the community and always help our friends and neighbors, even if they are Obama voters. What is the best way to convince liberals that conservatives are good and caring people? To be a good and caring person and a proud conservative.

    • #28
    • November 25, 2012 at 6:58 am
  29. Profile photo of Anne R. Pierce Inactive
    Anne R. Pierce Post author
    Joan Greathouse: Well Anne, continue to inspire us with your great writings. It has been a source of strength for us here. What really bugged me is the gloating going on the web as well as facebook. One of the award winning bloggers Jo Ashline, actually posted 911 pictures all over her blog saying half the country needs to get over it because this isn’t a tragic day. I was so close to download on her page but decided, I shall conserve my energy for more productive purposes. Like finishing my novel and children’s book. · 1 hour ago

    On both the national governmental scale, and on an individual scale, I’ve seen more gloating than I expected. The other day, I was told by a nurse at my own doctor’s office that everything would work out if Romney voters accepted the need for “unity” around Obama’s plans. The tone of bitterness with which this missive was presented as my blood pressure was being taken was notable – I had not mentioned politics.

    • #29
    • November 25, 2012 at 7:09 am
  30. Profile photo of Barbara Kidder Member
    David Williamson: I feel the same way, Anne – perhaps made worse by the fact that I am an immigrant from the land of Wordsworth, which is now a Socialist basket-case, even with a “Conservative” government.

    America, indeed, has been fundamentally transformed – not so much by Mr Obama himself, as by the electorate.

    Anyway, this week I am in Spain – another Socialist basket-case that Mr Obama wishes to emulate! · 7 hours ago

    Edited 7 hours ago

    Like you, Mr. Williamson, I hail from England and the feeling of gloom and foreboding are heavy on my heart.

    My entire family in England think that Mr. Obama is ‘brilliant’; it is as if they are who the Greek playwright had in mind when he penned the phrase, “whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad!”

    • #30
    • November 25, 2012 at 9:01 am
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