11-15-16 9:41pm Gettysburg Hotel, Room 401. Wow, just in the last hour I have gone from mood to mood from despair to curiosity to contemplative to glad to peacefulness to questioning to disgust to pain and to feeling sorrow. I held the partial hand of a man confined to a wheelchair in the elevator. His name was Rich. I held the door and eagerly got on it (the elevator) with him. He asked me what brings me to Gettysburg and I said that I work with the school and Democracy Matters to educate students about the corrosive influence of money in politics in our election system. He said, sort of asked, “Getting rid of Citizens United.?” I said, “Exactly that. And more.”
It was so nice to meet him, if only for a moment. I’d just returned to the hotel from seeing the movie, “The Dressmaker” and the movie was good, albeit somewhat depressing but still, I laughed at some parts. Themes of revenge, miscommunication (intentional and unintentional), love, death, and mother/daughter relationships, and redemption. After the movie though – at the historic Majestic Theatre – there was an art exhibit about Healing. People wrote on cards about what they wished people understood, what they wished people wouldn’t assume, and what surprised them the most about their own healing. The submissions were tremendous, heavy, and inspiring. For what felt like an eternity, I stood there wanting to contribute but being still and waiting for some sort of approval or for someone to tell me it was time to leave, without me having a chance to write my own submission onto a card.
But I did. I wrote about the voices inside our heads which are mean and tell us lies about who we are and what people think of us and how they hold us back from realizing our true potential… or something like that. On the back of the card , I thanked the artists for providing such an outlet via art. And then I walked out of the Majestic.
I’m feeling quite lost at the moment. I went into the campus Lutheran chapel yesterday and prayed. I even searched for the chaplain but he wasn’t to be found. I walked down the basement hallway and at the end found the choir room. Unmistakable rows of silent and still chairs and a grand piano, touched with dust yet probably frequently used. This room reminded me of singing in high school and church and all the choirs I joined voices with so long ago – and I longed for those times.
Yesterday I remembered a happy memory from my young adult childhood of roller skating and feeling like flying yet still anchored to the ground by eight rubber wheels.
I’ve been searching for inspiration to be as energizing in my work as I know I can be. Look there. Deja vu. I’ve felt this pen to this page before.