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Friday, June 21, 2002

Journal
Heard while walking through the shopping center:

Has anybody here seen my old friend Abraham?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people but it seems the good die young
I just looked around and he's gone.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people but it seems the good die young
I just looked around and he's gone.

Has anybody here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people but it seems the good die young
I just looked around and he's gone.

Didn't you love the things they stood for?
Didn't they try to find some good in you and me?
And we'll be free
Someday soon
It's gonna be one day

Has anybody here seen my old friend Bobby?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
I thought I saw him walking up o'er the hill
With Abraham, Martin and John.

Strange reaction in a strange environment: walking on the sidewalk through the shopping center, soft June night, the song coming from the speakers placed in the flowerbeds. Tears in my eyes. Thinking of 9/11--what DID they stand for? Where HAVE they gone? Growing up in the '60s--going from age 4 to 14--it just seemed like one bad thing after another happened. No "summer of love" or "free love" for kids, as I was. Just the Vietnan dead count every night on the news, riots on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland ("I used to deliver milk on that street," said my dad), Kent State, and funerals on TV. The one good thing: man on the moon. Still, seemed stupid to want to cry at a song at the mall.

Quote
Abraham Lincoln, Address at the Dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, 19 November 1863

Fourscore and seven years ago
our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation,
conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition
that all men are created equal…
In a larger sense we cannot dedicate,
we cannot consecrate,
we cannot hallow this ground.
The brave men, living and these dead, who struggled here,
have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember,
what we say here,
but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here
to the unfinished work
which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced…
we here highly resolve that the dead
shall not have died in vain,
that this nation,
under God,
shall have a new birth of freedom;
and that government of the people,
by the people,
and for the people,
shall not perish from the earth.

Lincoln was wrong: the world did note, and has remembered, what he said; but how well can we learn the lessons his war taught? That we should learn from all wars, that they not be "in vain"? What are we learning from this war, on terror? And what terrorizes me--not just that "evil-doers" live in the US, use our facilities, then kill us--but that to "free" ourselves from them, we must curtail the very freedoms we enjoyed previously, the very freedoms that mean the most to us--freedom of speech, of movement, of THOUGHT. The future--it seems very cloudy to me, now. My gramma lived to be 101--if I should live to be that old, what world will I live in in 2056? For the first time, thinking about it is not exciting...but mostly scary.

Oh well--too heavy of thoughts for a Friday! I will exercise my freedom and think more positive.

Site of the Day
I have been reading Yahoo! Internet Life (http://www.yil.com) magazine for a long time and always enjoy it and learn something. Here's a link to their yearly article on useful sites. Will help you do anything from get the weather to manage your porfolio!
http://www.yil.com/features/feature.asp?Frame=false&Volume=08&Issue=07&Keyword=50useful

Classic Poem

Today is the first day of summer (9:24 a.m. EDT)...so one last word on spring from Rilke:

SPRINGTIME by Rainer Maria Rilke

Let's start again, says the Earth, start again,
it's my only chance.
And suddenly springtime cries out:
We're starting up again.

And everywhere action and activity,
such obedience.
And the heart we'd want to restrain starts
up again with one leap.

But the obedient Earth well knows
that she moves round and round,
whereas we hurtle down
toward infinity.

From The Complete French Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke
English language translation copyright (c)1986 by A. Poulin, Jr. All rights reserved.

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