9.27.01 6:35 am

I woke up this morning at 5 am in a rage, an absolute rage.

Part of it is that I've spent most of the last two days doing grant applications, which is an odious task: just formatting the same old stupid information for each form is a pain, since no one takes the time to make nice pdf applications with form fields except the guggenheim, and they ruin that nice touch by making you jump through hoops just to GET the silly application, plus they require FOUR recommendations, which I regard as deeply infantalizing. Plus, I said snotty things about them in the wall street journal a few years ago, and I would be overcome with shock if they actually gave one to me.

Part of it is also that yesterday morning as I came back down the street to my house from doing an errand, there were two big fire trucks in front of my house, and a swarm of firemen, and we all had to leave the building while they tracked down a gas leak. It turned out to be from Gene's restaurant around the corner, and they capped it, but it was terrifying. It would not have been so terrifying before, but all I could picture standing out there on the street at 9:30 am (again) was the whole block blowing up. (The firemen are still the most beautiful wonderful men, even after losing so many of their comrades. Kind and fierce. Incredible.)

But the real reason I'm in a rage is that I've been reading From Beirut to Jerusalem, by Thomas Friedman. I'm only up to 1987 in his history, and part of me just wants to say they all deserve one another, the Shi'ites and the Druse and the Phalangists and the Jews and the Sunnis and the Palestinians. Let them all kill one another to the end of history, if that's what they feel they must do.

And then I think about Steve Reich's Cave, and boy doesn't that piece seem even more important than it did in 1993 or whenever. And I remember that the most amazing moment for me was the part towards the end where Daniel Berrigan says "entertaining angels unawares, even in some clumsy or momentary way."

And then I get angry again. I mean, what do angels mean in a state of anarchy? That's what the terrorists declared on us here on 9.11, anarchy, not war. In war, you at least have the luxury of believing the angels are with you. But what they're doing is bringing the anarchy of the middle east back here to murray street, and they're succeeding.

I understand that we (the US) has had a huge part in creating and maintaining the anarchy there, so I suppose one could argue that it's about time, we ought to have a chance to experience first-hand what it's like.

It sucks.

And I'm terrified that this is what our century is going to be.