March Ends HammHawk Hiatus

…not that anyone really cares, but I’ve missed the meditational thinking that this thing gives me, so here’s hoping I’m able to stick to it in 2007.

Yes, I marched yesterday. For various neurotic reasons, such marches usually aren’t my bag. I think that spending so much of my days encouraging my students to think critically leads me to hyperanalyze my behavior. As a result, I tend to mentally interview myself, and I can’t answer all the questions I could imagine someone posing, so I cave. That’s irrational, but it’s me.

So why did I march yesterday, and enthusiastically so? Well, for several reasons, but I’d say that my primary motivation was simply to show respect for the people who’ve been killed in my city. I wanted to lend my considerable mass to the numbers so that the group would be as big as I could make it.

But as I think about the rationale, I get more clarity. For instance, I didn’t march because I fear for my own personal safety. Although I’m aware that I may be at risk, what I tell people is that while the risk of personal harm is greater here than in other cities, it’s still pretty small. Instead, I’m more upset because of the good people who’ve been robbed from my city (I wish I’d gotten to know Helen Hill and Dick Shavers), and I worry about the fate of my city in general. I don’t want us to lose more than we already have.

Simply put, the folks in charge don’t know how to handle this. That means that they should seek out the experts who can help them solve our problems. A little humility could go a long way and have vital results. I don’t know the answers (one of the main reasons I hesitate to participate in such events), but I also didn’t run for mayor or try to become police chief. Frankly, I do know what I’m doing at my job, and the consequences of my failure to do so are nothing compared to these guys’.

I never cried during the hurrication. The closest I got was a moving piece on NPR months after I’d returned. But yesterday I teared up as soon as I saw one of the many pictures of Helen Hill and her family. I’m not sure why that got me so much, but that’s what did it. I knew the situation, and I knew it was tragic, but somehow seeing those pictures of people who should still be here, still be enjoying their beautiful life and making my great city better got to me. It was yet another true loss. I’m resentful of that.

So here’s hoping some good will come out of the march, and I’m proud of hell of the folks who got together to make it happen, and especially of B, who truly spoke truth to power. I only worry now that he won’t be my colleague much longer as his civic activism creates greener pastures. Whether you’re affecting lives here or elsewhere, well done, B.


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