It’s Thanksgiving Day. You and 15 people you only see once a year are sitting around an enormous turkey dinner, complete with pecan pie and relish tray. Everyone’s getting along splendidly … so far.
Then, Aunt Albie, stalwart matron of the Calvary Baptist Church that she is, turns and asks you to say grace.
Actually, maybe not. There are a few food blessings out there that may allow you to navigate between the twin pillars of Denying What You Believe and Getting Your Ass Whupped by Aunt Albie. Let’s check some out:
For total opacity, you could trot out that segment from the Metrical Charm for an Unfruitful Land which I mentioned the other day. The indeterminate Saxon will sound impressive. Your book smarts will be the talk of the entire family. And all without a single hare -pin dropped.
Or, in the time-honored tradition of parents everywhere, you could throw your offspring under the bus. Have your youngest recite this very sweet meal blessing which I adapted from one used in Waldorf schools:
.Blessed be Mother Earth. Blessed be Father Sun. Blessed be the plants in the field, Where the Mother and Father are one.¹
And you could always use a blessing that, however pagan seeming, can pass for Christian:
.Power of God on this flesh! And power on those who will eat it, to be worthy of the life taken here to nourish them, for the fire of all life is from God. . It is finished.²
Then there’s the ultimate option. The fantasy we all have. Come on … you know the one. Give in to Your Own Dark Self. Lift up your wine glass with your left hand, and bring on the houzle:
.Here is wine, filling the cup with abundance.
I consecrate it in the name of the Witchmother, Old Fate.
With my left hand I lift it,
With my left hand I shall drink it.”³
Then drink in the Name of the Ould Lass, that She shall gather you home again.
And run like hell. Because the fight’s on now.
¹The original may be found in A Child’s Book of Blessings compiled by Sabrina Dearborn. And yes. I totally threw my son under the bus. On more than one occasion.
²From The Book of Kells, by R.A. MacAvoy, Chapter 6.
³From Scaresprite, by the inestimable, controversial Robin Artisson.