I am tired this morning. I had a mostly good week-end: more time in the pool than usual, some reading time, getting grading done, getting errands run quickly and efficiently. When I look back on this week-end, I hope I remember it as the start of the time when I began to focus on my mandolin.
I played on both Saturday and Sunday--ah, the return of evenings on the front porch. On Saturday, my spouse showed me how to pick out the notes of "May the Circle Be Unbroken" and reminded me of how to play each note of the scale that starts with middle C. We ended by playing "Taps." On Sunday, we continued to work on those songs, along with "Dona Nobis Pacem." I have loved that Canon for many years, although for the longest time, I associated it with Christmas music.
I was feeling peaceful when I turned on the TV. I was all set to watch The Simpsons, even though it was a repeat of a show that was on just a few weeks ago. Instead, I saw footage of gatherings in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. I saw various groups and lines of police in riot gear in Ft. Lauderdale. In Miami, people seemed to be walking by the Adrienne Arsch center; my spouse said, "Why are they going to the American Airlines Arena?" I speculated that they had probably parked there.
In Ft. Lauderdale, I saw that there were protesters trying to pick a fight with police, so I wasn't too surprised when a curfew was declared. I was not prepared for the phone calls, one from the county and one from the city. The county one came at 9:30, just as I was drifting off to sleep. And then, the city of Hollywood called at 10:15.
I feel conflicted about these protests taking place across the nation. On the one hand, I am glad that horrific images of police brutality can still inflame us and make us take to the streets. On the other hand, I'm not sure that they do much good anymore--and they don't seem to be very specific, some of these assemblies. Are we protesting that one incident? Are we seeing problems in our own local communities? Are we protesting larger policies of policing and incarceration? Are we looking at even larger societal structures?
And why rush the police, the way that some did in Ft. Lauderdale? The 3 hour protest was over. Some people stayed behind to look for a fight, and some stayed behind hoping to de-escalate and to keep the violence at bay.
It could have been worse. From what I can tell, there was some tear gas and people dispersed. There were some arrests, but I'm not seeing reports of deaths or buildings on fire or all the ways the situation could have been escalated.
I am glad that I spent an hour with "Dona Nobis Pacem." I will continue to sing it; it will be a constant prayer today, and throughout the rest of the year.
I have resolved to spend the month of June picking up my mandolin each and every day. I am now adding to that resolution--I will learn "Dona Nobis Pacem." I will pray for peace each day as I learn the song and memorize it.
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