I have just come back from a lovely dinner at my church, St. Cross, that the Dining Club sponsors periodically. It is in the small church hall, but is as upscale as you can make a church hall be. Each time a local restaurant hosts it, there are several courses, and California vinters provide the wines for the different courses. Tonight we had Indian food from a well-known Indian restaurant called Akbar. My main course was rack of lamb cooked tandoori style. I brought three friends and met five "new" people at our table. The young, second-generation Indian chef periodically came to the microphone and spoke about the food, which church volunteers had been cooking all day. And the wine distributor told about each of the six different wines served. All this for $25. What a bargain--and what a wonderful way to spend a Saturday night!
But I've come home, walked the dog who heard a firecracker and dragged me back home at break-neck speed, and now I'm procrastinating. The topics I want to write on in the days coming up haven't been fully researched and developed--and I have made a pact with myself that I will write each day in Sacred Ordinary. Then I remembered this photo I took two summers ago when I stayed in the dorms at Columbia University. The advisors at the summer journalism program live in the dorms with the high school kids we take from our schools across the nation, though admittedly, the last four years the advisors have had private rooms and baths. I was the RA in 2002 for my floor--and lordy, lordy, I felt every bit my age by the time the week had passed. That was the year we all went solemnly on the subway to Ground Zero together and were literally speechless as we peered inside the chain link fence to what had been the Twin Towers. The viewing platforms were still there; a full year had not yet passed since Sept. 11. I love New York City, in small doses, and I love being with the kids. This particular sulty evening I was tapping away on my laptop at Columbia, listening to the kids race back and forth in the hall. Lock down hadn't happened yet. I gazed out the window into the campus which is a mini-city onto itself and watched the people sitting on library steps. Periodically I could hear the ever-present New York wail of police cars and ambulances over the kids horsing in the hallways. I opened the desk drawer of the cheap laminated oak desk in my modest dorm room and what you see above is what I saw in the drawer. I could picture some frustrated student reading Nietsche and preparing for an exam--and procrastinating--like I am tonight. So, in blue permanent marker, that young man or woman sent me, and everyone else who will use that dorm room in the years to come, a message. Instead of writing in a drawer, I'm writing in this weblog tonight. I'm glowing from champagne, pinot noir, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and riesling--and the curry and garlic. I hate for the evening to end.