Jul. 4th, 2010

starlady: (but it does move)
I got up at 7:30 this morning to run the Mayor's Cup 5K at 8:30, which I did in 34:20. Last year my time in this race was 39:40, and it was a lot hotter this year, so I am pleased with my performance. Unfortunately I went to bed at 1am, so I am now on my second cup of coffee of the day, and probably need at least one more. So it goes.

In Meeting for Worship one doesn't respond directly to what other people say, but today everyone who was moved to speak, including me, wound up all talking about the same general topic, understandably. The United States: what do we do with it? About it? As I write this my copy of Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains and Ira Berlin's The Making of African America are both within arm's length; as I was driving to work Friday morning NPR read the entire Declaration of Independence, which includes a line about "cruel Indian savages" that just makes me want to reach back through time and shake TJ and the other Founders: both the Declaration and the Constitution, read in the light of today, betray the very principles they espouse and set out--and yes, I do think that there's no point to knowing history unless one does make judgments about it in light of today, though obviously it's necessary to understand historical context to make informed judgments. The events set in motion in Congress 234 years ago are inspiring and dispiriting and had many consequences both for good and for ill. We have done right; we have done wrong; on July 4 along with our watermelon and barbecue and fireworks we must remember that we are obligated by the history which we claim sets us apart to do much, much better.

Unserious ETA: Or you can have Karen Healey's version, in which George Washington hung on a tree for nine days and nine nights and gave up the ability to tell a lie so that he could endow Bruce Wills with the power of a hundred men. /eta

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