September 15, 2001

war and tchotchkes

Usually, I can't write an entry here on any subject without mentioning rowing at
the start of it.* I foresee that for the near future, I will not be able to write an entry without mentioning the attack on New York and Washington, and its consequences, instead. This morning, thanks to the links Mechaieh posted, I have signed a pledge against hatred and read the letter Miss Throckmorton posted. On Monday, I will call my Afghani friend Shahin, to make sure she's ok.

Though I can't resist writing about the wonderful rowing practice we had yesterday, or resist mentioning the fact that Yosemite Sam complained to Rudder afterward that my form was perfect -- he couldn't find
anything to complain about.

Last night, I joined other rowers in a candlelight vigil at the lake, which proved to be a wonderful place to have one. People were holding candles in boats just offshore and standing them up in the sand. I think it meant a lot to the juniors, particularly. Some were crying. Most were hugging. One girl said that she had been first shocked, then angry, and that this was her first chance to feel sad. A boy told me that 5 people had been suspended from his school so far for "talking about this the wrong way". This was a chance for them to stand with people who had thought more about the moral consequences of the attack and of our response, I think.

Coach DI brought several sheets of the words to Amazing Grace and a valiant attempt was made to sing that, which would have worked better had more people been willing to sing loud enough to be heard, so that everyone could be on the same line at the same time.

Then some of the juniors wanted us to all hold hands and say a prayer, so we did that. The first guy to speak mumbles ecstatically and at
length, assuring God over and over how much we all loved him (though he did manage to only mention Jesus once or twice). He also thanked God for giving us a president who really cares about our country. I'm sure He has done that, at least at some point, but wouldn't care to speculate *which* of our Presidents that was. I bit my tongue very hard at that point. The others to speak were more restrained but still homogenous enough that I couldn't resist speaking up myself at the end, and offered a pointed prayer that we all learn to come together and appreciate each other's differences and that our leaders act with wisdom, compassion, and restraint. Hey, at least I didn't start out, "Baruch ata Adonai...."

Afterwards I went out for good cheap Vietnamese food with Hardcore, her family, and several of the junior girls -- she's sort of a den mother for the juniors. She's got four kids -- one in college, the rowing one in high school and two little ones -- and I have a feeling all the neighborhood kids have always hung out at her house and complained to her about problems with their own parents. It was a liberating feeling to be out eating at eight o'clock on a Friday night on Mill Avenue, which was full of lights and people. Afterward, I chatted with several people from my list until nearly 11. It felt great to be keeping normal hours for a change, even if I slept in past eight this morning and woke up sore.

I have done very little reading this week, but have spent a lot of time with
needle and beads, since that could be done while watching the news on TV. Here are the results:

Posted by dichroic at September 15, 2001 04:59 PM
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