9.16.01

hello my friends,

I am writing now, and posting this, as my attempt to do something (anything) in the direction of being productive since tuesday's events. Like everyone I've talked to, I am suffering a personal crisis in reaction to this disaster. I am safe, my friends and family are safe, my home and studio are safe, and I feel guilty and inadequate for feeling so damaged when others are suffering so much more.

Like so many others, in the first days I went (unsuccessfully) to give blood, signed up to volunteer, lit candles and prayed for all of us, and wandered the streets of my wonderful neighborhood simply to make contact, to feel connected to the community.

I cannot work: I cannot sit down at the computer and make music. I'm wishing I had some non-creative work to do: something to absorb my concentration that didn't require me to be fully present. (That's why I'm doing this...) I usually feel so lucky to have my work, but at the moment it seems impossible to try to imagine looking inward to make something.

I've bought some books on the middle east and on islam; I ordered the koran from amazon, so that along with obsessively watching the news and reading the paper, I can begin to try to understand the roots of this conflict.

On wednesday, they did a service of healing at the church of the ascension, where the rector read micah 4:

        1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
        That the mountain of the LORD's house
        Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
        And shall be exalted above the hills;
        And peoples shall flow to it.
        2 Many nations shall come and say,
        "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
        To the house of the God of Jacob;
        He will teach us His ways,
        And we shall walk in His paths."
        For out of Zion the law shall go forth,
        And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
        3 He shall judge between many peoples,
        And rebuke strong nations afar off;
        They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
        And their spears into pruning hooks;
        Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
        Neither shall they learn war anymore.
        4 But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree,
        And no one shall make them afraid;
        For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
        5 For all people walk each in the name of his god,
        But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God
        Forever and ever.

And I have such a complicated reaction to this. I want so much that we not learn war anymore, as it says so beautifully. But I am also so deeply aware that the very religion that I am trying to use to comfort me is the same religion that creates crusades. If the law goes out of Zion, comes only from the lord OUR god, what possible peace can that bring?

But the rector also spoke the familiar words that we are to love our enemies. And that if we are to pray for those lost in the bombing, we need to pray for the hijackers, too. I am so so grateful to him for saying that. It gives me purpose. Because I don't know how to do it, and it gives me work to do. Real work.

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