The most overwhelming feelings I have right now, after a day in which I went on a bike ride with my brother, fixed my rain jacket, inventoried tomatoes, did a lot of dishes, made a batch of granola, did more dishes, met with one of my former research advisers, got some groceries, realized that I had forgotten to go to the pharmacy (now closed) and forgotten to call someplace important (now also closed), spent close to 2 hours cooking dinner (lasagna with oven-dried zucchini instead of noodles), did still more dishes, and filed a lot of boring papers, are a combination of stress (I have so much to do that I didn’t get done today!!) and fatigue (I don’t think I can manage anything else today…). I’ll do a more interesting update soon, I promise. I should have lots of time in the airport/on airplanes in a few days (!), so I’ll have time to write then, if not before.

And, in the midst of my minor personal stresses, the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. I don’t have much I feel like saying about it, except that I would not have guessed that life would be back to pretty much normal for most Americans only a few years afterward. In the midst of a tragedy, large or small, it can seem like life has irrevocably changed–and it has. But we humans have an amazing capacity to make the extraordinary into the boring. This is bad, in my view, when we take for granted the beauty of a night sky or the astonishing scientific accomplishments that we have made in the last 10, 20, 50 years. The upside is that we can, in the face of a painful new reality, regain “normal.” To anyone dealing with a tragedy, I’ll let Superman (as written by Grant Morrison) speak for me: “You’re much stronger than you think you are. Trust me.”

In closing, here’s one of the most moving responses to the Sept. 11 attacks that I have seen. Worth a watch (or re-watch) 13 years later. Get some tissues.


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