So, last weekend for President's day, i went to D.C. to visit my friend Dana, go to museums, and spend some time where the president lives. Dana is a rock star lawyer, and when I say rock star, I mean the kind that I think is a rock star-- in the civil rights division of the DOJ. You have a problem with being sent to the back of the bus? She's your woman. It was great seeing her, except I felt terrible because she was sick and there I was wanting to go to museums. She is a trooper, that one. We went to the Senate office building and to a really interesting modern dance version of Romeo and Juliet and brunch (which really is my favorite meal these days, because it means that I am not in a rush to do anything and can linger with a friend, and also because omeletes are delicious) and the Air and Space museum and the movies... Luckily my friend Ben also lives in D.C., so once i had used up all of Dana's healthy energy (I'm sorry!), i could call him up to entertain me, which he did incredibly well by fire dancing. No joke, he knows poi, which means that he knows how to dance around twirling balls of fire ridiculously close to his body. It was completely fascinating. And not only does he fire dance, but he also knows EVERYTHING there is to know about dinosaurs, which is incredibly convenitent when you are at the museum of Natural History in the dinosaur exhibit. Especially because his eyes lit up and he had the excitement of a 7 year old telling me about all the different dinosaurs. I couldn't help but be super excited as well. I love it when people keep that child-like enthusiasm about things. It makes me smile a lot.
I also really like Lincoln.
The trip was a great little break, and I really like D.C., but I have to say, it was really nice to come home to New York. I think every day I fall a little bit more in love with life here. I hope no one was expecting me to move for a while.
On the bus ride back, I was doing some light reading but mostly spent the trip gazing out the window, absorbed in staring at the scenery, half-listening to podcasts, and mostly having thoughts fly through my mind. Riding in a vehicle for an extended period of time at dusk is the perfect time to give in to those deep life questions and daydreams about the future. Mine involved refugees, radio, and a lot of time living in poverty (hey, i dream big). How could I put all of these together? The thoughts that I had were of the mind-racing, heart pounding type that keep you awake for hours. These ones have taken up extended stay residency in my head, and everything I read and hear seem to somehow work their way into this. I went to a few lectures this week (fun ones, not school ones) that especially made me think even more about this. One was at the law school, a panel discussion on genocide and the media. the other was Samantha Powers and Azar Nafisi talking together about the perils of idealism and the need for it to change the world. Wow, this was what I am nerdy about-- i sat through these with a big silly smile on my face (well, not really, that would've looked strange since the topic of conversation was gross human rights violations and that would look weird to smile about that. you know what I mean).
Samantha Powers (by the way, she is not only an incredibly intelligent woman and amazing writer, she is also Obama's foreign policy adviser, which is awesome) left a few thought with me on preserving people's dignity. "To keep dignity is not to liberate people, but to allow them to liberate themselves, to give them a voice... There is a movement to get out of Iraq, but no movement to help the Iraqi people. Why is this?... People in the U.S. give up their own dignity when they do not fight for others. Our liberty is related to the liberty of the world... We need to be the models for the world, and stop being self-righteous about Iraq, stop blaming each other and instead do something." It was an incredibly thought provoking talk, and those little thought explosions have been going off ever since with ideas. I have one in particular related to giving voice to people, but I'll fill you more in on that once I figure it out a bit better. I am in love with the feeling that comes with having an idea that takes on its own life in my head that runs away with my entire brain.
Scouting towards Personal Progress
2 days ago