I went to church this morning, as I do most Sunday mornings. The altar was filled with lit white candles, with two unlit tall candles standing to the side. I wish I had a photo (I’m sure someone got one). My friend Hank, our organist, played Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” It was powerful. And I started crying. I cried when Rev. Bob read Max Lucado’s “Prayer for America.” I cried through the choir’s anthem, even though I had a (small) solo.
And then I went to contemporary service and didn’t cry a drop.
And then I went back for the third service (almost exactly the same as the first service) and did it all over again.
And then I had to come home and turn it off. I remember, I mourn, I cry, I pray. But I have to move on at some point. I can’t wallow in it.
I’m not an overly patriotic person. I believe that the United States of America is a great and blessed country. But I also believe that we, like every other country, do as much wrong as we do right. We’re human. That’s our nature, even if it’s not our aspiration.
So I didn’t read your blog posts. I didn’t listen to the intro for Sunday Night Football. I only skimmed my Facebook page, and I’ve hardly looked at Twitter today. I remember on my own terms – and then I keep working. Just like this country keeps working and keeps going. We’ve got shit to do.
i love my country
by which i mean
i am indebted joyfully
to all the people throughout its history
who have fought the government to make right
where so many cunning sons and daughters
our foremothers and forefathers
came singing through slaughter
came through hell and high water
so that we could stand here
and behold breathlessly the sight
how a raging river of tears
cut a grand canyon of light
-Ani Difranco, “Grand Canyon”