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This week


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Sep 15 2001 - 10:45:31 PDT

Dear Friends.

I think, probably I have at least 10 drafts in a folder of things I've
wanted to say and respond to from this list. The outpouring from all has
been incredible. There are few across the country that haven't been
affected in some way by a personal connection to this horror. The Six
Degrees of Separation theory, I think, has maybe been reduced to just one or
two degrees. I know no one that doesn't know someone that at least knows

They said the internet would provide an opportunity for a communication and
a "community" that know one ever knew before. I think this week I finally
believe they are right.

First this
All the handouts I got this week, all the sites I was directed to on the
All the psychiatrists and psychologists and experts said, the best thing to
do for children in a situation like this is to let them express through art.

Many of you have written to say that your administrations have asked to
perpetuate some kind of "black out" of the situation. But so many of you
have said no to those administrative decisions and given the opportunity for
your kids to express. I hope you feel the powerfulness of your decisions.
Because the stuff coming from kids is the most powerful. Most of us feel so
helpless as to what to do, but giving the opportunity, against instructed
directives, is your own act of courage and THANK YOU to all that have.

All of us "away" from the rubble, look outside our windows and think
everything looks the same
everything is not the same.

I will keep Holly's letter for a long time. She is in the midst of the
horror. And she has provided a tolerance that we should all consider. If
we are giving our kids an opportunity to express should we not do the same
for each other. How many of us can not say we have not felt something
vengeful in our hearts. My immediate reaction was very hateful. Much of
that remains in my heart. But that is where it stays. My "work" is to be
selective in what I think and what I do. I think that is the lesson we try
to teach. We see, we react, and then we make a choice as to a path. We
look to our leaders to choose the right path. In our own lives it is not so
easy sometimes. We only have lots of lessons to rely on. Hopefully those
lessons come from mom and dad, teacher, religious leader, heroes...

I wanted to compose something for this list that was poetic and inspiring.
That's not part of my ability , at least just now
so I'm sending something that reading makes me think a little better.

I have been listening to NPR most of the week. Often they have reached to
the artists and poets to help bring some comfort through all this.

I think every issue of DoubleTake Magazine has this poem on it's first page.
I read it again today and can't think of anything else more eloquent to

I am probably violating some copyright law by "lifting" this poem. But I
don't care. Often when I got my new issue of DoubleTake this poem, as
inscription, would take various meanings for me.
Remembering it today , in this situation we face, seems only the best I can


Human beings suffer,
They torture one another,
They get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
Can fully right a wrong
Inflicted and endured.

The innocent in gaols
Beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker's father
Stands in the graveyard dumb.
The police widow in veils
Faints at the funeral home.

History says, Don't hope
On the side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.

Call miracle self-healing:
The utter, self-revealing
Double-take of feeling.
If there's fire in the mountains
Or lighting and storm
And a god speaks from the sky

That means someone is hearing
The outcry and the birth-cry
Of new life at its term.
                      Seamus Heany
                      from The Cure at Troy