Monday, January 10, 2011

DC--Day One

The following is an excerpt from the diaries of Amy Nee:

A terrific snowstorm tried to stop us, but thanks to John & Chantal's driving prowess we made it to Christina's parents in Geneva, Ohio. The heavy snow was beautiful but treacherous. I kept wishing I could be home with that snow and build a snowman and sled...

...We are at Dorothy Day House now, in or just outside of DC. I'm a little disoriented. We just had our first "check-in" of sorts with the NY crew who rolled in about an hour after us. I'm glad to be here but feeling very out of place and wondering what I am doing here--how to respond to this environment--how it even came to be that I am in a place and situation like this.

During the long, cramped drive (five of us in a Honda Civic plus two weeks worth of baggage, and we are not small!), I reflected briefly on some of my life stages; moments of awareness of my weakness, moments of empowerment. I thought about living on New England Ave in Florida and avoiding acknowledging my acquaintances sitting on the balcony as I walked below--aware and ashamed of my impulse to ignore those around me because I did not know what to say or how to act. I remember one night in KY when I decided to go visit the community where my roommate Maureen's dad lived. I was filled with anxiety. I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and confronted myself in an utterly cliche but effective way. "You are lovely," I told this reflection, "and I like who you are and who you are becoming; why are you still afraid of people?" What is it that I am afraid of?

This inhibition and anxiety and self-doubt cannot be left unchecked. That is a large part of why I am here, to continue along the road of recovery. Also, because of compassion bound together with a believing/unbelieving hope. A terrible injustice is occuring to a large group of men and we just might be able to do something about it. So how could I not try? How could I not join with those who are trying? What does love require?

My dear sister Hannah, familiar with aspects of me that no one here knows, has promised prayer, "like a blanket." I will wrap that blanket around me, when I wake and when I sleep.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9

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