I spent yesterday working, in a very whiny and ungrateful fashion. “Ungrateful” may seem like an odd word to choose, but it’s the right word. I could have — and have, in the past — been working in retail or giving an exam or something like that. Instead, I was in the comfort of my own home grading papers and writing stuff.

I even took a break at one point and worked on my lace shawl — Elann’s Lotus Blossom pattern, roughly. Lace looks like nothing at all when it’s being made, because the important part is the space between the threads, which doesn’t show up until the lace is finished and blocked. It is, therefore, an exercise in faith.

I should have gone on a hike instead. I’d be in a better mood now.

No matter. Today is an all music day. I’m singing at 8:00 in one church and 11:00 at the other (Sunday School and practice in between), and then there’s a 1:00 call for a 4:00 to 5:30 hymn festival. I should be in a great mood after all that.

Today is the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center. I’ve been sent a special prayer to read in the early service on that subject, filled with things about mourning and remembering. Fortunately, the hymn sing will focus on peace and not on wallowing in historical horror. I don’t want to spend a whole day in pointless sorrow, though I realize that there’s precedent for doing so. Sometimes you can’t help it.

I was at the church — the one I’m returning to — when the attack took place. I was on a committee and we were meeting, and the choir director flung open the door and said, “We’re at war!”

In the course of that day, I saw the famous footage of the airplane crashing into the tower over and over. Wherever you went, there it was. That was before we had grand-scale natural disasters every other month, and I think the idea of all those people being so frightened and all the loss of life was very shocking. There was fear about what our government might do, and a lot of debate over why people should hate us so much.

I had taught ESL for many years, so I wasn’t surprised that people in other nations hated the United States. It’s unmissable if you’re in much contact with folks from other nations. There they were, wearing American blue jeans, studying in the U.S. with American teachers and books, hating us. Even being quite friendly and liking us as individuals at parties, but still hating us. I had no trouble believing that the attack on 9/11 was a generalized expression of hatred.

For people who remembered Pearl Harbor, though, it seemed as though it had to be an act of war rather than a crime, and there was a lot of fear about what might come next.

I hope we don’t have to dwell on it too much today, though.

Toby isn’t worrying. He likes to hang out in my office with me, doing nothing and thinking about nothing, just being happy. I’m generally happy even without that level of empty-headedness, though I have been out of sorts recently. Toby, as you can see, gets enough sleep.