Generous Orthodoxy  

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bulletins from the road

Readers will understand that my blog will be spotty for a few weeks. I am in Virginia and unhooked from the Internet. Mourning the loss of our cherished mother will take a while for my sister and me. Going through her clothes closets will be a simple matter compared to the search we will make through her remarkable mind as we sort through dozens and dozens of drawers, envelopes and files stuffed with clippings, letters, photos--almost all of them of the greatest interest. Her intellectual curiosity and passion for knowledge of all kinds has always amazed us, and I have always sought to emulate it, but feeling the loss of her brain power and unique way of looking at the world is truly (to paraphrase something Alex Haley is reported to have said) like watching the burning of a great library.

When Mother died I was in New Orleans, mourning for something else--the disaster that befell a great culture. There is so much bad news that it is hard to realize, at first, how much hopefulness there is. Everyone urged me to go back North with the good news, the incredible signs of renewal, so much of which has been initiated by churches. And in today's news, reports of a madly successful Jazzfest lift the heart.

And so from New Orleans I bring back the message so often heard there, repeated today in The New York Times story by one of the jazz musicians: "Don't forget about us."