| August 31, 2003
Falling Into the Future
At the beginning of David Leans film, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA,
there is stunning
scene of Lawrence riding his motorcycle through the sun shadowed,
roads of Britain.
I thought of that scene as I was driving up and down the
roads of Columbia
County this past weekend. The weather was marvelous and the
sun played tag
with the leaves as we drove into Hudson, where we spent an
browsing the stores and catching a late lunch at Brandows.
It was a perfect, restful weekend in the country, treasured
as it was the
first weekend we were there post blackout and it was good
to go home and
spend a couple of quiet days surrounded by the trees and next
to the creek.
Sunday morning it was just chill enough I had to get a sweater
comfortable sitting on the deck, drinking coffee and reading
my pile of
The summer is coming to an end. Labor Day Weekend is the
of summer if not the actual date when summer slips to fall.
impending end of the summer has been on everyones mind.
I suspect everyone feels like they should be given a free
pass this week.
Hey, Labor Day is coming, give me a break I dont
want to deal with
Unfortunately, everyone is dealing with serious things right
now, right now
when we really dont want to be. At least it seems everyone
I know is.
Business is intense right now for everyone I know, a time
reorganization and rebuilding.
None of which are things we think we should be doing as the
summer drifts to
But it is the way it is.
A friend of mine is producing a special for NHK about the
Americans as we approach the second anniversary of 9/11. Has
it only been
two years? I put a meeting into my calendar for 9/11 and I
staring at the date, realizing that I would not ever again
see that date
without a reaction.
Media will not be making much of this anniversary; the acknowledgement
be respectful but not everywhere, all the time.
As we approach that anniversary though, there are constant
reminders to us
here in New York. The largest controversy is about whether
or not the
government lied to the city about the quality of the air in
New York in the
days and weeks just after the disaster.
There are again ads suggesting people get help for issues
such as depression
and addictive behaviors that have continued or accelerated
since then. And
we are inundated with local ads telling us that we need to
have our go
bags prepared. Theyre very clever, a whole series of
ads, with many local
and national celebrities intermixed with ordinary folks, which
direct us to
get a booklet to help us prepare
Prepare to run for it is what were supposed to be getting
It is just a little schizophrenic, this world we live in.
in the country with the beginning of the autumnal nip in the
with living in a city that is using up its PSA allowance to
encourage us to
be ready to make a run for it. Mornings of sweet Columbia
contrasted with lengthy articles in the Times about air quality
I have a sense there is a feeling that 9/11 is an event we
should be putting
behind us, getting over, getting on. But its reminder is in
with every release of new transcripts and documents and ongoing
reborn with every story about the Iraqi occupation, with every
event in the
western world that is unusual.
Was that power outage in London, two weeks to the day after
New Yorks, just
an unusual circumstance or was it more than that? There are
those who didn
t question the New York blackout but are now
New York? Isnt
there an interesting symmetry there that should be put under
Ah, sweet schizophrenia! Welcome to the future.