By Matthew Rothschild on November 25, 2010

Let me give thanks, first and foremost, to my wife, Jean, who is my lifelong Zoloft prescription, and to our three kids, and to my father (still hanging on at 89), and to my brothers and sisters and in-laws and cousins and nieces and nephews.

The whole mishpocha, as we say in Yiddish.

Let me give thanks to my colleagues at The Progressive, and to all of our writers, and especially to Terry Tempest Williams, who joined our stable this year with her artful and compassionate essays.

Let me give thanks to all of The Progressive’s subscribers and donors, who keep us going through thin and thinner.

Let me give thanks to The Progressive’s Board of Directors, for all its due diligence and wise advice.

Let me give thanks to the great folks at Audio for the Arts, who engineer Progressive Radio and my daily commentaries.

Let me give thanks to the activist community in Madison, Wisconsin, which retains its combative spirit, and does so with camaraderie and humor.

Let me give thanks to Russ Feingold and to Alan Grayson, who lost their seats but not their principles.

Let me give thanks to Andrea Lewis and to Howard Zinn, two friends and two progressive intellectuals who died this year and whom I miss dearly.

Let me give thanks to Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges, for warning us about the risks of fascism in America.

Let me give thanks to Cindy Sheehan and to Ralph Nader, who keep daring us forward.

Let me give thanks to the poets Martín Espada, and W. S. Merwin, and Adrienne Rich, and to many more, who combine their art with political conviction and bring inspiration.

And let me give thanks to the pine siskins I saw on my bird feeders just this morning.

“I could wish my days to be/bound each to each with natural piety.” (Wordsworth)

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Lower, Not Raise, Tensions over North Korea."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

More

Subscribe to The Progressive and Get A Free 2015 Calendar

Ruth Conniff on the Ed Show discussing Gov. Walker and the minimum wage.

Abby Scher on the race to elect Maine's next Governor

Thirty years after the title year of George Orwell’s “1984,” the Oscar-worthy “Citizenfour” features a real-life...

By Victor Menotti

At a time when most Americans agree that the country has too...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

Public School Shakedown

Progressive Media Project

Newsletter