It has been a really hard month. And that is before we talk about the national disaster.
We interred Katherine’s mom yesterday. As Katherine put it she was a strong woman and a force of nature. She had not been herself for a number of years so there is some relief but, of course, no matter how much you expect it, it is still painful.
She was a Bush Republican so we didn’t agree on much politically but she would have been horrified at what is happening in her party today.
Anyway, when we came back from the cemetery yesterday, I went up to her roof deck to look at the harbor. (She lived in Chatham MA). Lo and behold, a whale was swimming through the bushes on her property Talk about magic.
Ailsa’s theme this week is short. It came to her because she is feeling short of time which brought me to my first few views of the theme. This was not an unusual circumstance in those days . These views are from Wellfleet.
But, short does not always relate to time. Many years later, on a beach in Wellfleet, two tourists, very short tourists, look as if they are about to run short of time.
Twelve years ago today, Abigail was in her second week of kindergarten. I can’t speak for the rest of the country but I firmly believe that this year’s class of High School seniors in New York City were deeply affected in ways that will play out throughout their lives, both in a lack of trust of the stability of anything and their belief in the innate ability of neighbors and communities to rise to occasions. In other words deeply conflicted.
As has become a personal tradition, I went to the ceremony held at the Firemen’s Memorial on 100th Street and Riverside Drive overlooking Riverside Park and The Hudson River. Every year they read out the names of the 343 members of the department who lost their lives that day. This year they also spoke of the 76 who have since died of what seem to be WTC site specific illnesses. Of course, thoughts and memories of all the other dead, both those attacked and the other first responders come into the ceremony.
Here are a few views.
Before the ceremony
The reading of the names continues
A moment of silence at 10:29 to note the collapse of the second Tower
The names continue
Members of all branches of the Armed Forces were in attendance
Subterranean Homesick Blues
Free As A Bird
Time Of The Season
People Are Strange
Come Fly With Me
Great radio set, right? WOMR, 92.1, Provincetown played that this morning as I left Wellfleet on my way to Brewster.
California Dreaming started up
” you know the preacher likes the cold
He knows I’m going to stay.”
Shook my head at the weirdness of life.
“you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. ”
” Free as a bird
It’s the next best thing to be.”
They are really messing with me now and so on to
“and if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone”
I gave up and just let the music take me until as the final chords of Oh Darlin’ ended I pulled into the parking lot of the Animal Hospital and took my Mother-in-law’s 14 year old, dearly loved, extremely sick and in pain, mini poodle inside. The staff was wonderful and kind and took care of things with care and gentleness.
“Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices no more easily made. And give, give in any way you can, of whatever you posses. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace.”