Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Into the Mist

The fourth weekend of September 2001, San Francisco was shrouded in fog; not an unusual climatic condition for Fog City that time of year, but a particularly poignant one in the baffling aftermath of the events of the preceding eleven days. Early Sunday morning, as I glided south, cutting through the fog on the Golden Gate Bridge, staring at towers and cables that disappeared into the mist; from my seat on the starboard side of the bus I stretched to look down at the current tugging at the channel buoy.

I was still savoring the richness, the profundity, and the texture, of the most heartfelt emotions revealed by my new classmates the previous morning. The humanity, the dignity, the love of these scholars: immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Europe, refugees who had felt the terror of war, America’s privileged, as well as the descendants of slaves; would congeal later that morning into a new poem, recited line by line in turn, around the circle of this new tribe that was just beginning to open itself to the notion of new ideas of obligation, responsibility, and the very important work that implies.

For America, these past 11 days had been an awakening to the grievous injuries our country has inflicted on the world. For those of us converging on New College this Sunday morning, it would become an awakening to our roles in healing these wounds.

--The Awakening