Notes from the Publisher - Pamela Hulse Andrews
by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher
I awoke this morning for a devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m reminded every day to be thankful for my numerous blessings from a loving and talented family, charming, loyal friends and canine companions, the generous people I work and volunteer with and the incredible place I am fortunate to live. I make a note to self: be more thankful every day.
And then along comes Thanksgiving where friends and families gather to eat a ton of food and join hands around the table exhibiting our thanks for the good things that happened over the year. Jon Stewart in his off the cuff humor has a slightly different take on the holiday: “I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast and then I killed them and took their land.”
Ah yes, our Thanksgiving is not quite the same as the early settlers way of giving thanks.
All of this thankfulness brings to mind Jimmy Fallon’s hilarious thank you notes on Late Night every Friday. Not just once a year or once in awhile, but every Friday night he delivers thoughtful, but twisted thank yous for and about various people. If you don’t stay up late enough or haven’t recorded the show here’s a sampling:
Thank you, peer pressure, for being totally not cool. Unless my friends think it’s cool, then it’s pretty cool I guess.
Thank you, pita bread, for being a great combination between wheat and envelopes.
Thank you, ‘People You May Know’ feature on Facebook, for being the online equivalent of seeing an old friend in the grocery store and avoiding eye contact.
Thank you, 13-year-old female pitcher Mo’ne Davis, for being the break-out star of the Little League World Series and showing the world that ‘throwing like a girl’ can actually be a good thing.
Thank you, clouds for sometimes looking like animals and thank you iCloud for sometimes looking like naked celebrities.
Thank you, cattails, for being nature’s corn dogs.
Thank you, pencil sharpeners, for always making a good point.
Accordingly, I’ve grown to love this form of gratitude, especially if we actually took the time to write a few thank you notes ourselves every week. Of course we don’t that’s why Thanksgiving offers an opportunity to be especially thankful. It’s a forced, but not dreaded impulse to express our gratitude with family and friends.
At our house, and possibly yours, we go around the Thanksgiving table and share what we’re most thankful for over the past year. Most of us say family, friends, good health or that someone we rarely see has joined the table.
We have one young family member, however, that makes us twitch when he is about to speak, sorta out of the mouths of babes thanks. He’ll begin: Dear Lord we are so grateful to be gathered here today, thankful that no one is in jail this year, that my brother covered up his scorpion tattoos so mom doesn’t freak, that Auntie’s green jello didn’t jell and that I, for the first time, got to .....” He’s usually stopped before he insults everyone (but I love the humorous offering when life can be so serious).
For all kinds of Thanksgiving gratitude, I am especially thankful!
And thank you, Jimmy, for making us laugh late at night when we can barely keep our eyes open, but at least the next day is Saturday.
by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~ Marcel Proust (French novelist, critic and essayist 1871-1922)
It’s hard to believe that I would compare a brazenly weird survival camp to a mainstream harmonious music festival. The first, Burning Man, is in the middle of the Black Rock Desert, a hot brutal setting where the elements alone can measure your strength of fortitude. The other, Sisters Folk Festival, is situated in a quiet, comfortable town with pleasant amenities that allow you to settle in comfortably.
But coming from one to the other within a few short days allows me to reflect on why I like both and how the experiences are mutually rewarding.
The music at Burning Man is full barrels on cabaret...a quarry of mixed blues and rock’n’ roll, leaving no upbeat and weathered genre unturned. Whereby the Folk Festival is a well-planned bevy of unabashed Americana music from blues to honky-tonk to classic country and good ole’ rock’n’roll.
There’s much to like about both, although the Folk Festival clearly is all about the music and Burning Man is more complicated combining survival, connection and expression through amazing works of art turned into invigorating flames.
It seems silly to compare them if not for jumping from one to the other so quickly, hardly taking a breath from the hot crazy desert scene to the harmonious selection of the agreeable western town of Sisters.
Still the similarities remain with me and here is what I want to share:
There is something about being exactly where you want to be when you want to be there that makes people happy...and happy people I encountered at both places. Not just hi, what a nice day this is happy, but the kind of impression that you want to hug just about everyone you cross paths with. The kind of happy that if you lost your ticket or forgot where you were staying, you knew everything would be just fine. The sort of happiness that inspires a new adventure around every corner.
Second, the people who made it all happen, who spent all the hours and days before the event to make sure that everything was in place and your experience would be grand. Those people are really happy...even being exhausted they are still jovial, accommodating and welcoming. You want to say: I’ll have what she’s having.
Third, gifting. Yes, you are required to purchase a ticket to both events (although the mere $100 for Sisters Folk Festival is much more of a bargain that the $400 for Burning Man that includes only the desert dirt you get to camp on). But still they are both like a big family picnic, the guiding principles seem to be to share, enjoy and embrace the action.
At Burning Man cocktails and grilled cheese stands, enhancement workshops including drum making and pasties classes, hair-washing stations and art installations are gifts provided by Burners for others to enjoy.
At the Folk Festival the gift is the music, an abundance of exemplary sounds provided all day and way into the evening so that over a three day period The Road Goes On Forever and the Music Never Ends (Robert Earl Keen).
In a world of disasters, contradictions and complexities, it’s nice to find people doing happy things!
See photos of Pamela's 2014 Burning Man trip here