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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
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Sunday, August 25th, 2002

Time Event
"oh apologies, no apologies"
I am at an awkward in between stage. I love Smith, but i’ve finally gotten settled in being back home, so the idea of going back is weird.

I have lots to do, but no motivation to do any of them. I have made myself a to-do list.

For various reasons, i will be saying goodbye to everyone at work one week before i actually return to Smith. This feels very strange.

I am sorting things out.

Current Mood: i think i’m going to bed now
I may procrastinate, but i can get my act together.
I just sent out 14 e-mails applying for Smith work-study jobs (most on-campus but some off-).
People have so many layers.
we make our own gravity to give weight to things
then things fall and they break and gravity sings
we can only hold so much is what i figure
try and keep our eye on the big picture
picture keeps getting bigger
-Ani DiFranco, “hour follows hour”

I went to Paul Cotton’s memorial service today. He was 85 when he died last month. My grandmother wanted me to come because i was a very special girl to him, so i agreed though i have few memories of him. When i was 9, my grandmother and i went with Paul and his wife Ginny, and their cat, to Nova Scotia in their motor home. My grandmother often reminds me of how at the time i was singing patriotic songs (i had Wee Sing America) and learning the Gettysburg Address and Paul was quite impressed. Ever since then he always asked my grandmother how “our girl” was doing. Patriotism is one of the last things i want to be noted for at this stage in my life, so this has always made me a bit uncomfortable. While i frequently saw Ginny at church, i rarely saw Paul, so it was basically a moot point. I sat at the memorial service and listened to the minister talk about how family was the most important thing to Paul, though “family” often encompassed more than just blood relatives, and many other wonderful things that one expects to hear at memorial services. I felt distant since i knew nothing of this man. Then she said that he was a conscientious objector in World War II. My face lit up. Now here was a guy i could get behind. He worked in the forest service, and then worked drawing weather maps. When my grandmother got up and shared some memories of Paul, of course she shared the Nova Scotia story. She mentioned something that i don’t remember her ever mentioning to me before, that he was so pleased that i was interested in history. This makes me much more proud than being thought well of for being a patriotic child.
thoughts from the memorial service, part two
My mother and i were discussing the idea of the receiving line, and we both much prefer the Jewish custom of shiva in which the family stays home and people bring them food and condolences. We are going to start a Christian shiva tradition.

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