all I see is suffering

November 26th, 2013

fresh-modern-thanksgiving-table-setting-lYears ago when I was doing one of my first internet interviews the host said something that caught me off guard. She said, “Isn’t it hard for you to live in a place like that?”

I couldn’t fathom her meaning. It’s not hard to live in Los Angeles — a beautiful place with nearly perfect year-round weather, where you can go outside any day under a blue sky and climb a mountain, see the ocean, and gather fruit from the trees in your own yard.

But she didn’t mean that. What she wondered was whether it was hard for someone like me to live in a place with people who weren’t like me. A place known for its vanity and pretense, empty dreams and false promises, shallowness, selfishness, fear, lies, and addictions.

In other words, a place like everywhere with people like everyone.

“All I see is suffering,” I answered.

I’m remembering that conversation because Thursday is the day we adorn the table and feel blessed, fed, loved, warm and secure — or at least pretend that we are — among the people who might be the hardest to live with: our own families.

What will you see at your table? And more to the point, whom will you serve?

Happy Thanksgiving.

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  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well my friend.

    Comment by marcea — November 26, 2013 @ 11:51 am

  2. “among the people who might be the hardest to live with: our own families.” This made me laugh and gave me a lump in my throat at the same time.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Maezen.

    Comment by Meg — November 26, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

  3. I don’t understand what you mean by that? All you see is suffering in LA?

    Comment by Danette — November 26, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Karen! All I know is you are in my gratitude list, at Thanksgiving and always, amen……..

    Comment by Daisy Marshall — November 26, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

  5. Somehow you just get better and better Karen…at putting into words that which we all so need to hear.

    Comment by Kirsten — November 26, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

  6. If desire is so inherently linked with suffering, I can truly understand why so many of us suffer during the holidays. We want so many things to be different: our relationships, our children’s behavior at the table, our homes, the consistency of our mashed potatoes … And this year I looked around the Thanksgiving table and smiled. It was all as it should be–not at all perfect, but beautiful. And we all gave thanks, felt loved, and got a good night’s sleep, only to wake up to the smell of leftovers and a terribly fantastic mess in the morning.

    Comment by Amy — November 29, 2013 @ 5:25 am

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