I can't forget it happened. I don't want it to be a call to war. So I fall back on what I did on the first anniversary of September 11.
I had volunteered to teach a noon yoga class once a week at TIBCO software while they looked for a more qualified teacher. About a dozen people came to my class regularly, including six or seven people from India. Most of the Indian class members were Hindu, but there was one Sikh. He wore a simple headcovering in yoga class, not his turban.
When I first realized that I was going to be teaching on the anniversary, I almost cancelled class. I didn't know what to do. Ignore it? Moment of silence? What?
Finally, I decided to remember the day by using Gandhi's favorite hymn, Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram which he and his followers sang on the Salt March. The original hymn was dedicated completely to Rama. Gandhi added a healing reference to Allah. (That's the kind of thing he would do.)
Beloved, praise Sita and Rama,
God or Allah is your name, (meaning that the supreme can be called by many names)
Lord, bless everyone with this wisdom.
It worked out well in the yoga class that day. All the people from India knew this song and its meaning and its connection to Gandhi. I started the class terrified of singing in public. But when everyone joined in, the lifted voices were warm and loving. One woman in particular had a beautiful voice, and I learned that she had studied Hindu chanting for many years. After the September 11 class, I began asking her to lead a chant near the end of each yoga class.
If I hadn't decided we would sing Raghupati, I would never have known about her voice and her knowledge.
May today be a day of healing for all, and of openness to learning from others.
A Few Notes
The 18th Carnival of Nuclear Energy is now posted at the new blog, ANS Nuclear Cafe. I am particularly fond of Charles Barton's post about pro-nuclear activists: we are people with a viewpoint, not "shills." Steve Aplin of Canadian Energy Issues also reviews anti-nuclear propaganda, a post with the intriguing title Poisoned Rats Aren't Ham. Visit the Carnival! Always something new! Always something interesting!
I also want to point Rod Adams blog today. Rod challenged Mark Cooper of Vermont Law School in a conference call. Cooper, a sociologist, writes papers containing slanted economics of nuclear power. (Cooper often quotes Mr. Lovins, that famous economist.) In this call, Rod asks Cooper one question and he is supposed to be able to ask a follow-up after receiving an answer. He can't ask the follow-up. It doesn't happen. He tries to get back in the queue, he tried everything. No dice.
A technical glitch, no doubt, which was peculiar to Rod's connection.
I also like Rod's post because there's a picture of me in it. It's the jolly group of bloggers in France. In the picture, we are standing in front of the new construction at Flamanville. As I disclosed earlier, Areva paid the majority of my expenses on the trip to France.