Saturday, September 15, 2001

As I begin to write here, the first message I have written since September 11th when the attack on America began, it seems strange to me to realize that everything has a new perspective. Even the outrage I felt at the mistreatment of the animals at the York Fair seems misdirected and somewhat trivial, even though the exploitation of those animals was very real. The entire world is different now. I don't know what to think. I am usually not a supporter of war, and yet I feel our country needs to take some sort of action. I do not know yet where I stand. I feel that we need to take a firm stand against terrorism in all its forms; nonetheless, hearing the words "bomb the hell out of them" coming from a senator, when we don't really know who that "them" should be, causes my stomach to knot itself.

I am amazed at the remarkable bravery and generosity that is being spread throughout our country. It's really quite wonderful.

Last night, when we were all asked to light a candle at 7 p.m., I was driving home from work, the first time I left the newspaper office before 10 p.m. any day this week. I pulled over by the side of the road and joined some women who were standing outside their beauty parlor with candles. We sang Amazing Grace, and it was the first time I could stand and sing and not have to photograph others in their display of solidarity. I feel a deep moral commitment to document my community as they come together in mourning and in solidarity, and so, most of the time, photographing is precisely what I feel I should be doing. But last night, standing on West Market Street and singing softly was the only thing I wanted to do, the only place I wanted to be.

I have had the urge to stand with each of you who read this web site and cry and send invocations to the spiritual force (from whom I began to seek solace during my depression) and find hope. Hope for peace, hope for solidarity, hope for justice. For my high school friends and all others who know, more than anything, I have wanted to stand with you and sing "The Lord Bless You and Keep You." May the Lord come to you in your own individual ways-- the Christian Heavenly Father, the Jewish Lord of the Universe, the Mother Goddess, the power of Music, the Beauty you find in others and the Force that connects us all. In the words of the NPR guy who reads the Writers' Almanac each morning, "Stay well. Do good work, and keep in touch."

Jerry Falwell's message that blames "feminists, pagans, abortionists, homosexuals and the ACLU" for the mass destruction, along with a feminist response to the call for war, can be found up on my soapbox.

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