Today is a new day! Understand. Today life begins again! Live. Today is an opportunity! Try. Today is the first day of the rest of your Life.
I haven't had an opportunity to write to you since the events of last Tuesday morning. There was a small article in the paper Wednesday about the failure of words to describe what has happened and the effect of it on all of us. Well words are what we have so they must suffice - we must express our feelings - even as they change - particularly as they change - as time goes on. God allows many things to happen that we can't understand why. Why are some people born healthy and others born deformed? Why do some couples have children and others are unable to? Why do tornadoes and earthquakes and hurricanes happen and harm so many people? Why do we live to witness the destruction of the World Trade Towers while others perished in them? Are we better than they? Probably not. But here's our chance to try to be! My dad had a pin that read - "today is the first day of the rest of your life!" So let's get going!
There's a lot of good in the world - look for it and you will find it! Theo there's a lot of important work to be done in the world - open your eyes and look for it - it's there! Theo there's so much love in the world - open your heart and feel it - it's there!
Theo I love you!
The world is changing Joanna - right before our eyes. Watch, help, learn, grow - It's really not so different from what you would do anyway.
The sky is blue. The night is cold. The moon is new. Our love is bold. While I'm waiting here this heart of mine is singing, lover - where can you be.
I don't know why that verse of a jazz song came into my head - maybe it's because it's about searching - a longing for love - a love that's out there somewhere in a cold, new world. Look for it and you will find it Joanna.
Today is the one month anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Towers. One month is not a very long time in the big scheme of things but it still seems like it happened a million years ago. So much of our lives have changed in so many ways in such a short time. Not just for us personally but for the whole country. It's a time to rebuild, a time to examine ourselves - all of us - to see who we are - what do we do to make the world a better place? What do we do to spread love within our family, with our friends, with strangers we meet on the street, with people who feel and act differently than we feel or act? It would be a mistake to believe that we, as individuals, can do nothing to change the world. Believe in the power of love!
The anniversary of September 11th will always be as special day in our lives. As New Yorkers, as Americans, as people alive in this time in history. The event will always be ours to try and understand, understand, learn, grow and change and hope and pray. Pray that nothing like this will ever happen again. A tall order that is. But not impossible. We have to open our eyes to the world around us - try to find ways that we can help make it a better place. Not just for ourselves, but for all people!
Man we read and fell right asleep last night. It was 10:00 when you went upstairs but 9:00 when we both closed our eyes. We must have been tired.
Today is 9-11 -- the second anniversary of the attack on the twin towers. You were 10 years old and in your first year of middle school. Remember? I picked you up from school and we came home and watched the news off and on all day. It was a beautiful, early fall day - just like today. The thing I want you to think about is that yes, there is hate in our world but also there is good. Tremendous good. You are surrounded by good people - me, your mom and sissy, your GG and aunts, uncles and cousins, your teachers, coaches, friends, policemen, firemen, storeowners - so many people not just here in NYC either, but all around the world. Remember all those good people and always try to be a good person yourself - like you are! I love you so much! I believe in you.
Hard to believe that it's two years to the day since the Twin Towers fell. I went to see the show of photographs by Mr. Law at the church on Carroll St and 7th yesterday. Mom was helping him by sitting there for an hour. He took pictures of the pictures of missing people that family members posted all over downtown. He took pictures of firemen and policemen and American flags everywhere. The pictures are sad reminders of the many people who lost their lives and the many people who loved them. They also reminded me of the goodness of the vast majority of the world of people. Yes there is hate in the world. Always has been. But there is much more goodness and caring, love and compassion. It's hard to comprehend the enormity of the loss that happened that day. It's up to us now. The living, good people of the earth. To carry on and fight hate by spreading good. Love yourself. Love your friends and family. Love strangers. Help make the world better and safer. I love you so much. I believe in you!
Today is why we study history Theo. To remember. To learn. To teach. To not repeat the mistakes. To honor the innocent who suffered and to vow never to repeat or allow to repeat these sins. You were only a 10 year old boy when the Trade Towers fell, but try to hold onto the memory. I left my office and went to BC and picked up you and Joanna and brought you home. We watched TV in the living room at the Ansonia and we cried. I called my mother and brothers and sisters to let them know we were all OK, but our world has been and will always be changed. Go on in your life Theo. Be the best you can be and make the world the best it can be as well. It's our duty to ourselves, our world, our God. Amen! I love you!
Seven years ago - you were ten years old then - the trade towers were brought down by what we call "terrorists." What a shocker that was. What a terrible tragedy it remains. The lives lost. The lives altered. A city scared. A country changed forever. I look around at the legacy and wonder how much we have really taken the lessons to heart. Yet I remain hopeful for our country and our future - the world's future I mean. Oil dominance must be stopped. Tolerance of different peoples, customs, religions must be increased. A broader idea of our important goals must be fostered. Hopefully a new president will make (help) that happen. Hopefully your generation will do a better job than mine.
A silly poem - made up on the spot for a leader with wings.
OBAMA IN '08. Who woulda thunk it? (Last day of classes go ahead and slam-dunk it!)
"Only in America" you hear people say. When something almost unbelievable happens today.
An inspiring man. A man with a plan, To bring us back to a country we can stand (behind and be proud of.)
We never know what lies ahead. Will we be pleased or come to dread (our decision?)
I think pleased (I hope.)
It's like a dream this morning - OBAMA is our 44th president! I can hardly believe it. I'm proud that enough people in our country were capable of seeing past race to a genuine man of heart, intellect, judgment and ability. He certainly has his work cut out for him but I believe he has what it takes to do a good job - the best job - the right thing. You can go to school today proud to be an American!
Some number between a million and two million, suffering together for a short time, for a memory of a lifetime. I hope for great things from this man Obama, that we call our 44th President. Can he inspire banks to lend money? Markets to feel confident, peace to grow where war has been the rule? A huge order to fill, yet we ask him to try. We ask him to tell us the truth. To care about us and others in the world. To care and to try. He asks us all to care and to try as well. He asks us to be aware of other people's pain and suffering and to help however we can. Be patient and seek to understand yourself first. From there be patient and seek to understand your family and your friends. From there be open, be patient, be considerate, be helpful, be loving. That's what the world needs!
This is the day to remember all those men and women who have fought in Wars to protect our freedom. Your two grandpas - Dan & Frank both fought in World War II. If they were here now they would be very proud of you. As proud of you as I am.
The internet is very cool - very very modern - as "modern" as you can get I would imagine. I mean what could be "newer" as a concept? Computers, which make it all possible, have only been around for 15 years - less - 12 years maybe. Fiber optic phone lines that let info travel so fast are only 5 years old. Communication has been around forever but never so fast, so instantaneous, so easy. Friends (I guess strangers too sometimes) can just pop into our work at anytime (a good and bad thing - sometimes welcome, sometimes not). So much information available too. So many sites you can visit. I guess I just want you to be careful. There is a lot of weirdness on the web too and how do you know? People (and sites are put up by people) can find out about you too, just by opening up a site. Definitely don't give anyone your name, age, sex, phone #, address, etc. That info could end up places you don't want. Protect your privacy Joanna. Be careful! Ok?!
Good morning! Do you ever wonder how other people live? I do sometimes. I saw a picture on the front page of the Times of a group of women sitting behind some thorn bushes and waiting for bread from a relief agency. They were chased from their villages by rebels and had nothing but the clothes on their backs. Can you imagine life like that if it happened to you? We are so fortunate in this country.
Good morning! I really enjoyed reading your essay on the Weimar Republic. I enjoyed hearing your voice inside my head as I scanned the words. I enjoyed the arguments you raised and the examples you used to support them. I enjoyed your extrapolation to the present situation in Iraq. History is so interesting. You can look back 60-70 years and grasp the different forces - the causes and effects - that shaped events of the times and trace them all the way to today. "She who does not know history is doomed to repeat it!" So true. So important. Excellent job Joanna. It may not feel easy to you to write like you do - but you make it sound easy and that's a gift. I love you so much!
Yesterday a student with a gun killed 32 fellow students in Virginia Tech and nobody knows why. Even if they ever find out some things about his reasons, they will never be able to explain such a horrible, unimaginable act. I think of Joanna away at college and I think of the parents of those 32 kids and I sat here this morning and I cried. How much do I love you and Joanna? How much did those parents love their sons and daughters? Totally! Completely! Immeasurably! Words can't describe the feeling of a parent for his child. Everyone is somebody's child. Think about that every time you hear about an accident or flood or famine or war death. Everyone is loved. Everyone is special to someone. We are all loved. I love you Theo!
Good morning! There's so much in the world that we ignore as we live our lives... Our sheltered daily lives. So much suffering and violence in different parts of the world. Disease, famine, war - how are we supposed to deal? By being aware and being willing to do something to help in anyway we can. It's not easy because our own lives seem so full of things to deal with - imagine a different life? Share the love!
History unfolds day by day - it never stops - not as long as there are people living on this 3rd rock from the Sun. History goes way back to the first humans and continues right up to this very second. The Iraq war will be an important turning point in the history of America and the world - as will 9-11-2001. This is history you're living. Know what's going on around you. Try to see the connections, the courses, the results. We are all connected - all brothers and sisters. Learn to accept and love and not judge your fellow man. Good luck today!
"These are the times that try men's souls." - Winston Churchill, about the bombing of London in WWII
"It ain't over 'til it's over." - Yogi Berra, great ex Yankee catcher
"Sometimes a cigar (baseball game) is just a cigar (baseball game)." - Sigmund Freud, with additions by Bob Guest
"Hakuna Matada." - Pumba
"Que sera, sera." (Whatever will be, will be.) - Doris Day
"Let's go Yankees!" - Millions of Yankee Fans.
If the BoSox win maybe Kerry will too. I'd take that trade. I love you so much!
Ever hear of the Little Rock Nine? Well, Little Rock is the capital city of Arkansas and back in the days when schools were segregated by color, the biggest, best, all-white high school in Little Rock was Central High School and that summer the President ordered school systems to desegregate - meaning that black and white kids had to attend school together. The Little Rock Nine were 9 black kids, boys and girls, who were selected to be the 1st black kids ever to go to Central High. National guard troops and mobs of angry parents surrounded the school and in spite of racist bigotry at it's worst, they did attend and graduate from Central. A hard, hard thing to do. Imagine if you were forced to attend school like that? Could you stand up and do it? You're pretty lucky!
Isn't it funny how America is so evenly divided these days? Why is that? How is it even possible? I heard there's an election for governor in Washington State that, at the last count, had one candidate winning by 42 votes - out of the whole state! Amazing isn't it? For everyone who feels passionate on one side of an issue, there is someone equally passionate on the opposing side. It's almost ludicrous (sp?). I mean it would be funny if it wasn't so serious. So you examine your views to be sure it's what you believe. You listen to the other ideas because they deserve it too. And you shake your head, laugh, and work for change.
Read the paper this morning and I have to say the news isn't good. Not much about Iraq - or even the election right now - it's all about Wall Street and the Bank Collapse and the credit squeeze. Even the article about the children's exhibit wasn't flattering. It's important to not close your eyes to what's going on around you but at the same time, no matter what, you have to stay optimistic and keep the faith. Trust that things will work out alright as long as you keep working hard and believe. I love you.
Ancient Rome - Modern Rome. Romans - Italians - People. How old the culture on Italy - how young the culture here in the U.S. As old as the Roman culture was, the Chinese culture goes back even further. Thousands of years further. Human society in Africa further still. America's not even 250 years old. Think about it. I'm 50, so go back to when my dad's father was born and this country was barely 100 years old. My great grandfather lived during the Civil War. It's all so recent. We're all so connected to it. America isn't even a teenager yet. We act like it too!
Solitude. That's what Thomas Merton's all about. Solitude and love of God of course. But Solitude as a path towards love. Not an escape from life, but a deepening of awareness. In our world today it seems like everything conspires to make it impossible to achieve solitude in our lives. Quiet, thoughtful introspection, and communication with ourselves in the world is almost perceived as a bad thing. "Without a steady stream of sound and images we are nothing" - the gurus of technology tell us. Don't be afraid of silence; of being alone in silence. Relish it. Step into the world by taking a step out. Gain insight, awareness, perspective, love.
Everything came in pairs this morning. First there was the pair of Hasidic women walking up Argyle. Then a man walked by with two dogs on the leash, while off on Coney Island Ave I could hear first one, then two sirens roll by. Last night a pair of star basketball players were the story in a game 7 and on the front page of the Times was a story about a Chinese couple that had been trapped in the earthquake rubble for 28 hours, holding onto each other and talking and helping each other stay alive.
Two people meet and fall in love and the result are two more people to go out into the world and make it a better place. We all need a little help from someone - help to be the best we can be - to keep going and not give up when it gets tough. Take help when it's offered - give help when you see it's needed.
What matters most in a life? Happiness? Success? Love? A family? I shouldn't ask questions that I don't know the answer to. I look around me here at the relative comfort that we've built and the paper is open next to me with headlines like "79,000 earthquake dead" and a picture of a man walking, crying through the destruction of his neighborhood in New Orleans. And I'm trying to have perspective on my troubles and concerns which are real I understand, but I'm alive, I'm blessed, I'm struggling, I'm thriving, I'm loving, I'm loved, I'm focused, I'm easily distracted, I'm confident, I'm concerned after 52 years I'm still searching for answers. I guess we always are and always would (will) be. So keep searching Joanna - life comes in a torrent with answers in trickles.
You know I feel more and more like a minority in this world. I'm white and well-to-do by the standards of many places in the world yet I feel invisible and un-represented sometimes. I can't believe the direction our country is moving and I feel powerless to really change anything. I want the world inherited by my generation to be better than the world we inherited so that I can pass on a better world to you, my child. Yet now the world is so full of rich vs. poor, Christian vs. Christians, Muslims vs. Muslims, oil vs. people, that the news is too filled with violence to listen to or read. So many stories of suffering people it's hard to want to work for a solution and instead we want to escape and ignore. Too many thoughts to write here. I don't know why I went off on this thought this morning? I'm really all concerned with my mom and my family. I love you!