food, farming, friends and family: a meditation on chosen simplicity and (in)voluntary complications – life.


There’s a clear sense of ritual here, of customs and practices wedded to the culture. Old as time itself. I feel these missing in my life, and wonder if there’s a greater sense of meaning and connectivity in trying to create them – to rebuild a culture.

20 February 2009
Gokarna, Karnataka, India

My time in India only reinforced for me just how young America truly is (and how much it likes to ignore its youth – but didn’t we all?). While I get frustrated with what feels like my nation’s arrogance, I want to focus instead on creating an alternative.

Tomorrow marks the United State’s holiday of Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. Of course I can’t erase “Thanksgiving” from its true historical context, a grim reality that most Americans are all too happy to ignore in favor of football and turkey legs.

But what I gravitate toward in the day is the chance to recreate it – so many beautiful components are already there! A late-fall feast celebrating our shared abundance, and giving thanks to each other, to the food, and to the natural elements that have made it all possible – now that’s a holiday. And as I gather tomorrow with a great group of friends, it will be with a deep feeling of gratitude for all of the blessings I enjoy. And hope, too. Hope that in time we as a country will leave behind entirely the oppressive nature of our beginnings, choosing instead to keep (and nourish) the innovative and pioneering and, most importantly, the collective spirit that got us here.

So Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you’re able to enjoy yourselves with the people you love, creating the day for yourself in whatever way you like. In fact, I hope you’re able to do that every day.

** And when you’re cuddled up on Sunday morning, eating the leftovers of your leftovers, be thinking of a certain blog writer who is running the Seattle Marathon! I will be thankful for the finish.

Peace and pumpkin pie,


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